Wednesday, December 23, 2009

JUST SAY YES - The 80/20 Principle

The Top 10 Highest-Value Use of Time - from The 80/20 Principle by Richard Koch

1. Things that advance your overall purpose in life, individually, family, community, organization
2. Things you have always wanted to do.
3. Things already in the 80/20 relationship of time to results.
4. Innovative ways of doing things that promise to slash the time required and encourage positive results.
5. Things other people tell you can't be done.
6. Things other people have done successfully in a different arena.
7. Things that utilize your own creativity and tap into your imagination.
8. Things that you can get other people to do for you with relatively little effort on their part.
9. Anything with high-quality collaborators who have already transcended the 80/20 rule of time, who use time eccentrically, effectively and creatively.
10. Things for which it is now or never.

The 80/20 Principle is a principle of life, not of business. It originated in academic economics and it works in business because it reflects the way the world works not because there is something about business that particularly fits the 80/20 Principle.

Business and free-market systems are basically procedures and processes, the envelop of life and activity, but not the contents. The most precious part of life lies in the inner and outer lives of individuals, in personal relationships and in the interactions of these people with the larger society and culture.

JUST SAY NO - The 80/20 Principle

The Top 10 Low-value uses of your time: The 80/20 Principle by Richard Koch

1. Things other people want you to do.
2. Things that have always been done this way.
3. Things you're not usually good at doing.
4. Things you don't enjoy doing.
5. Things that are always interrupted.
6. Things few other people are interested in.
7. Things that have already taken twice as long as originally expected.
8. Things where your collaborators are unreliable or low quality.
9. Things that have a predictable cycle.
10. Answering all your e-mail.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Solstice Blessing - Neelah Grace & Carson Robert

Please join our Open Hand community Sunday evening, December 20th at 5:30pm sharp for our annual Solstice Celebration and family dedication for Neelah Grace Biswas and Carson Robert Crane. Light pitch-in dinner immediately following the commissionings.

Monday, December 7, 2009

OPEN HAND "Ubuntu" 1997 - 2010

"Ubuntu is very difficult to render into a Western language. It speaks of the very essence of being human. You share what you have. It is to say, "My humanity is caught up, is inextricably bound up, in yours." We belong in a bundle of life. We say, "A person is a person through other persons." It is not, "I think therefore I am." It says rather...."I AM HUMAN BECAUSE I BELONG." Desmond Tutu

I am often amazed when I reflect on our Open Hand global community and the unique fabric we have woven together over the past twelve years. From the beginning we decided to relocate as intentional neighbors embedded in urban Indianapolis near Tabernacle Presbyterian Church. The prophetic words we received and lived into said that from here the nations would come and bless us and from here we would go to the nations and be a blessing. In creating our organ-ic community we apprenticed ourselves to processing an influence and quality of being together, capable of generating systemic multi-cultural life forces.

With an open source architecture and global mobility designed into our community DNA, we generated over the years a robust network of multi-tasking Kingdom opportunities. These include but are not limited to:

1. Emerging Faith Community / table fellowship - Surrounding all of our activities, is a subtle natural rhythm drawing us together in Christian worship, as we join our Lord in the banquet table feast. Our community is continually refreshed and challenged by the telling and retelling of our Kingdom journey's, creating myths and cultural symbols that help us understand who we are. We celebrate the sacraments of our shared lives together with weddings, baptisms, commissionings and a sprinkling of lively special occasions. Our windows into the Kingdom of God are wide open, encouraging a prophetic imagination and passion for inviting people from all over the world to join us on our journey.

2. Mana Deschisa Romania (Open Hand) - We helped launch Marshall McKenna in 1997 by commissioning, sponsoring, and encouraging his life among the street kids of Bucharest. This connection continues to thrive today with a dynamic relationship of mutuality including the input of countless individuals, churches, and organizations in the USA and Europe. Our expanding global network is creating a labor of love for those homeless and disadvantage young adults of Romania. Over the past several years Open Hand has commissioned and sent out other explorer's to establish and connect missional networks worldwide. (Kenya, Norway, Holland, Australia)

3. Church-State Faith-based Initiatives - In 1998 Open Hand helped establish the first applications of faith-based initiatives in urban Indianapolis, combining the activities of church and state (DCS) in providing Faith-based / Home-based mental health services to juveniles, children in need and families in crisis. Over 500 families have spent between 3-6 months of weekly interaction with our Christian counselors in their homes exploring the dynamics of spirituality and family emotional process.

4. Coaching, Counseling, Consulting - For over ten years our community has provided dynamic faith-based interventions for individuals, couples, families, and organizations in crisis and conflict. With a systemic orientation combining the insights of Christianity with Natural Systems and Marriage & Family Therapy, countless people (including many in positions of leadership) have apprenticed themselves to new ways of conceptualizing their lives and the surrounding relationship systems of extended family, workplace vocation and congregational life. Lives have been powerfully impacted, marriages rejuvenated, leaders empowered and relationships restored in the process or our global coaching, counseling and consulting.

5. Global Learning Community as YWAM Associates - Pioneered by Rod and implemented by our community, thousands of Youth With A Mission students from around the world (Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia, New Zealand and North and South America) have tasted freedom as they personally explore vital new understandings of healthy, dynamic faith and empowering relationships. We teach in YWAM classes (University of the Nations) worldwide and will be traveling to Singapore, Hawaii and Brazil in 2010.

6. Arts - All of the arts are celebrated and encouraged in Open Hand and embedded in the culture of our community for the nourishment of our hearts, minds, bodies and souls. The Starkey's have pioneered excursions out west, sharing art and faith with young Native American's in an effective effort to multiply this nourishment. Artists Julie Ball and Derek Powell have sponsored art shows, installations and the annual gatherings of select artists in the Limner Society.

7. Urban Practicum -Internships / Outreach - In connection with our faith-based counseling and YWAM relationship worldwide, our community has been selected by several organizations as a training and equipping site providing practical hands on internships for local and international graduate students completing university work. Many YWAM students from around the world have subsequently lived in our Open Hand community while completing a three month urban practicum with us.

8. Publishing: Teaching / Coaching Materials - From the idea of the open handed metaphor, Rod and others of us are constantly developing life and faith coaching materials and book manuscripts. As a community we apprentice ourselves to a wide variety of biblical, scientific, and scholarly authors in helping shape and inform our understandings of what it means to live and work intentionally in the global community for the Kingdom of God.

9. Hospitality - We continue to create an open space within our community where guests can enter for a short period of a few days, extending to several weeks or months as necessary. They are encouraged to explore their freedom as human beings created in God's image and are in a safe space for processing life - for falling apart if necessary and coming together, for experimenting with new ways of being and being with, one another.

10. Peer-based Networking - As a global learning community, Open Hand values dialogue and diversity in an attempt to explore and process the manifold mysteries of life and faith. A high value is placed on education and sharing the fruits of social networking.

11. Excursion and Resource Teams - Open Hand organizes, sponsors and launches local and international outreach teams to the nations, seeking to lure the larger world into the Kingdom of God. We have had teams recently in Italy and Romania and plan to reach out to Kenya, China and Romania in 2010.

Membership Requirement - a. faith of a mustard seed, b. the ability to say "yes" more than no to life's challenges, c. a valid passport to the global marketplace

OPEN HAND opportunities - 1. participation in our Table Fellowship, 2. utilization of our open source system for the development of new Kingdom opportunities, 3. networking partnerships - creating new Open Hand missional communities worldwide, 4. imaging new adventures and leading outreaches for our community involvement, 5. partnering with us in launching new social businesses to help sustainability while focused on the urban marginalized youth and families

OPEN HAND Worship - Sunday, Dec 13 5:30pm

Please join us for a candle light worship service this Sunday evening December 13th - 5:30pm at 3174 N. Delaware Street. (Baby sitting provided)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Sacrament of Sexual Union

Wendell Berry

Highlights from The Art of the Common Place (from the notes of O'Steven)

The most dangerous and most immediately painful consequence of the disintegration of the household is the isolation of sexuality...the division of sexual energy from the functions of household and community that it ought both to empower and to grace. This is analogous to that other modern division between hunger and the earth.

When sexuality is no longer allied by proximity and analogy to the nurturing disciplines that bound the household to the cycles of fertility and the seasons, life and death, then sexual love loses its symbolic or ritualistic force, its deepest solemnity and its highest joy. Sex loses its sense of consequence and responsibility as it becomes "autonomous" to be valued only for its own sake, therefore frivolous and destructive, even of itself.

Those who speak of sex as "recreation" only acknowledge its displacement from Creation. The isolation of sexuality makes it subject to two influences that dangerously over simply it: the lore of sexual romance (sentimentalization of sexual love) and capitalist economics....and by means of them, young people have been taught a series of extremely dangerous falsehoods.

1. that people in love ought to conform to the fashionable models of physical beauty, and that to be unbeautiful by these standards is to be unlovable

2. that people in love are, or ought to be, young - even though love is said to last "forever"

3. that marriage is a solution - whereas the most misleading thing a love story can do is end "happily" with a marriage, not because there is no such thing as a happy marriage, but because marriage cannot be happy except by being made happy

4. that love, alone, regardless of circumstances, can make harmony and resolve serious differences

5. that "love will find a way" and so finally triumph over any kind of practical difficulty

6. that the "right" partners are "made for each other", or that "marriages are made in heaven"

7. that lovers are "each other's all" or "all the world to each other"

8. that monogamous marriage is therefore logical and natural, and "forsaking all others' involves no difficulty

Believing in these things, a young couple could not be more cruelly exposed to the abrasions of experience - or better prepared to experience marriage as another of those grim and ironic modern competitions in which the victory of one is defeat of both.

The exclusiveness of the sentimental ideal gives way to the possessiveness of sexual capitalism, and failing as they cannot help but fail, to be each others all, the husband and wife become each other's only and the sacrament of sexual union, which in the time of the household was a communion of workmates, and afterwards tried to be a lover's paradise, has now become a kind of marketplace in which the husband and wife represent each other as sexual property.

In the isolation of the resulting sexual "privacy" the disintegration of the community begins. Sexual energy that is the most convivial and unifying loses it communal forms and becomes divisive. The disintegration of marriage which completes the disintegration of community, came about because the encapsulation of sexuality, meant to preserve marriage from competition, inevitably enclosed competition and the principle that fenced everyone out fenced the couple in; it became a sexual cul-de-sac, and the model of economic competition proved as false to marriage as to farming.

The narrowness of the selective principle proved destructive of what it excluded, and what it excluded was essential to the life of what it enclosed: the nature of sexuality itself...sexual romance can't bear to acknowledge the generality of instinct, whereas sexual capitalism can't acknowledge its particularity, but sexuality appears to be both general and particular. One can't love a particular woman, for instance, unless one loves womankind, if not all women, at least other women.

Sexual romance leaves out this generality, this generosity of instinct; it excludes Aphrodite and Dionysus, and it fails for that reason...though sexual love can endure between the same two people for a long time, it can't do so on the basis of this pretense of the exclusiveness of affection.

The sexual capitalist - that is the disillusioned sexual romantic, in reaction to disillusion makes the opposite oversimplification; one acknowledges one's spouse as one of a general, necessarily troublesome kind of category.

These attitudes look on sexual love as ownership and the sexual romantic - "you belong to me" and the sexual capitalist believes the same thing but has stopped the crooning....each holding that a person's sexual property shall be sufficient unto him or her, and that the morality of that sufficiency is to be forever on guard against expropriation. One tends to exploit one's property and to protect it....and the tragedy is that what is exploited becomes undesirable. The protective capsule becomes a prison, a household of the living dead.

Marriage shrinks to a dull vigil of duty and legality and husband and wife become competitors necessarily, for their only freedom is to exploit each other or to escape.

A more generous enclosure is a household welcoming to neighbors and friends, a garden open to the weather, between the woods and the road. It is possible to imagine a marriage bond that would bind a woman and a man not only to each other, but to the community of marriage, the amorous communion at which all couples sit; the sexual feast and celebration that joins them to all living things and to the fertility of the earth; and the sexual responsibility that joins them to the human past and the human future.

It is possible to imagine marriage as a grievous, joyous human bond, endlessly renewable and renewing again and again rejoining memory and passion and hope.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Generation to Generation

The Family Reunion

In an old house there is always listening,
and more is heard than is spoken.

And what is spoken remains in the room,
waiting for the future to hear it.

And whatever happens began in the past,
and presses hard on the future.

The agony in the curtained bedroom,
whether of birth or of dying,

Gathers in to itself all the voices of the past,
and projects them into the future.

T.S. Eliot