Sunday, February 28, 2010

Chef Nolan Smith & his famous short ribs...

We were privileged to have Chef Nolan Smith cook for our 2nd Annual Open Hand Man-treat at the Rieger cabin on Raccoon Lake. He was assisted by Josh Kupke and Gary Martin.

Cheers Nolan! Thanks for the wonderful feast! Your fellow monks - Josh, Gary, Rod, Steve, Bert, Derek, Scott, Peter and apprentice Monks - John, Jay and Eric.

Brigid of Kildare 5th Century - Table Grace:

I should like a great lake of the finest ale for the King of Kings.
I should like a table of the choicest food for the family of Heaven.
Let the ale be made from the fruit of faith, and the food be forgiving love.
I should welcome the poor to my feast, for they are God's children.
I should welcome the sick to my feast, for they are God's joy.
Let the poor sit with Jesus at the highest place, and the sick dance with the angels.
God bless the poor, God bless the sick, and bless our human race.
God bless our food, God bless our drink, all homes, O God, embrace.

Friday, February 26, 2010


Between 1499 and 1502, Italian banker Amerigo Vespucci sailed further south than those before him and he discovers the Amazon river. He writes up his travels and because he includes lurid details of exotic sexual practices to spice his adventures, his travelogues sell like wildfire. They make his name well known, and as a result Amerigo has half the world named after him.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Necessity for Faith - The Secret Sources of Wealth & Poverty

21st Century Sustainable Hybrid Organizations - another White Board by O'Steven

Economies are governed by thoughts and they reflect laws of the mind rather than the laws of nature. George Gilder, a techno sage and entrepreneurial innovator teaches that a crucial law of mind is that belief precedes knowledge.

He argues that new knowledge does not come without a leap of hypothesis, and a projection of the intuitive imagination. You can't fully see anything new from an old place and the old saw of "look before you leap" provides only for the continual elaborations and refinements of old ideas that comprise the bulk of scholarship.

Instead it is the...."leap, not the look, that generates the crucial information; the leap through time and space, beyond the swarm of observable fact, that opens up the vista of discovery."

Thus, creative thought necessitates an act of faith and the believer must trust her or his instincts, imagination and the spontaneous notions of the mind, enough to test them in the rough and tumble reality of the marketplace.

Crucial to this creative process is the sensitivity to others responses, which is another key aspect of love. Creative thought needs to be open to change and surprise and there must be a process of divorce and rejection. Unless wrong ideas can be abandoned, no one will risk commitment to them in an uncertain world, and progress will be halted.

The essential laws of creative thinking are summed up as faith, love, openness, conflict and falsifiability.

The essential laws of economic progress and innovation are faith, altruism, investment, competition, and bankruptcy which also happen to be the rules of capitalism. Capitalism is successful only as it laws accord with the laws of the mind. It is able to fulfill human needs when it is focused on giving, which depends on the sensitivity to the needs of others. It is open to faith and experiment because it is open to competition and bankruptcy. Wrestling in the marketplace capitalism accumulates the capital gains not only of its successes but also of its failures, capitalized in new knowledge.

"The dynamics of economic growth thus consist of the fundamental process of all growth and development in nature and thought: a largely spontaneous and mostly unpredictable flow of increasing diversity and differentiation and new products and modes of production."

"The key thing to notice about this process is that most of its motive activities take place beyond the view of the statistician. It is a personal and psychological drama that decides whether a person dares to borrow and take risks to carry out an innovative idea that all statistics show will probably - like two-thirds of all new businesses in America - fail within five years. Chance is the foundation of change and the vessel of the divine."

"Peirce has shown that chance not only is at the very center of human reality but also is the deepest source of reason and morality. In his posthumous volume, Chance, Love, and Logic, he wrote: 'The first step in evolution is putting sundry thoughts into situations in which they are free to play..The idea that chance begets order is the cornerstone of modern physics,' and, he might have added, biology as well. "

"Peirce argues, therefore, that both evolution and progress, whether in science or in society, are dependent on "a conceived identification of one's interests with those of an unlimited community: a recognition of the possibility of this interest being made supreme, and hope in the unlimited continuance of intellectual activity.....Logic is rooted in the social principle..." Pierce's mathematical doctrine of chances leads him to see that all human creativity and discovery require the transcendence of narrow rationality and an embrace of religious values."

"It interests me to notice," wrote this great logical philosopher, "that these sentiments seem to be pretty much the same as that famous trio of Charity, Faith, and Hope, which in the estimation of St. Paul, are the finest and greatest of spiritual gifts." They are the gifts that work together to free mankind from the bondage of power and the dead hand of the past and open us to the possibilities of the divine."

"Success is always unpredictable and thus an effect of faith and freedom. God is the foundation of all living knowledge; and the human mind, to the extent it can know anything beyond its own meager reach, partakes of the mind of God."

"A thinker who shrinks from paradox and conflict is nearly prohibited from innovation as problems and crises are in themselves the new frontier; are themselves the mandate for individual and corporate competition and creativity; are themselves the reason why we can't afford the consolations of planning and stasis."

"This belief will allow us to see the best way of helping the poor, the way to understand the truths of equality before God that can only come from freedom and diversity on earth. It leads us to abandon, above all, the idea that the human race can become self-sufficient, can separate itself from chance and fortune in a hubristic siege of rational resource management, income distribution, and futuristic planning. "

"Our greatest and only resource is the miracle of human creativity in a relation of openness to the divine. It is a resource that above all we should deny neither to the poor, who can be the most open of all to the future, nor to the rich or excellent of individuals, who can lend leadership, imagination, and wealth to the cause of beneficent change."

"The tale of human life is less the pageant of unfolding rationality and purpose envisaged by the Enlightenment than a saga of desert wanderings and brief bounty, the endless dialogue between mankind and God, between alienation and providence, as we search for the ever-rising and receding promised land, which we can see most clearly, with the most luminous logic, when we have the faith and courage to leave ourselves open to chance and fate. Reinhold Niebuhr summed up our predicament:"

Nothing worth doing is completed in one lifetime.
Therefore we must be save by hope.
Nothing true or beautiful makes complete sense in any context of history.
Therefore we must be saved by faith.
Nothing we do, no matter how virtuous, can be accomplished alone.
Therefore we are saved by love.

"These are the fundamental laws of economics, business, technology, and life. In them are the secret sources of wealth and poverty."

Wealth and Poverty by George Gilder

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Council of Trent 1515

"Finally, all the faithful are commanded not to presume to read or possess any books contrary to the prescriptions of these rules or the prohibition of this list. And if anyone should read or possess any books by heretics or writings by any author condemned and prohibited by reason or heresy or suspicion of false teaching, he incurs immediately the sentence of excommunication."

Boy are we all in trouble.......

Sunday, February 21, 2010

REACT # 98 & 99 - Sarah & Ryan Noel - 02/21/2010 Rhino Expedition Team

It's with great pleasure that Open Hand awards R.E.A.C.T.' numbers 98 and 99 to Sarah and Ryan Noel. Well done and happy 34th Birthday Ryan! Welcome as life time members to the Rhino Expedition Team - You are both truly Open Handed people. Cheers and blessings from the Open Hand community in Indy

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Next Reformation

"What today we call the hermeneutics of Scripture - the invocation of a precise theoretical method to decode the biblical text - was never really on the table during the Reformation. The Reformation - both the so-called Radical and Magisterial Reformations - adhere to the conviction that the Holy Spirit could guide each believer (or the church community as a whole, on Calvin's view) to a patent understanding of the meaning of Scripture.

From a theological vantage point, that really signified that there can be no "hermeneutical," or even "theological," skewing of Scripture in the late-modern sense. The power of God to reveal himself through his Word was taken as a given, not as a conundrum.

The Word had authority because it could speak directly to the heart of the justified sinner. The Word of God was intimate and divine communication, not an impersonal ontological benchmark reinforced by a secondary calculus that correlated between text and the order of existence. The latter "methodology" was elaborated by post-Enlightenment philosophers who happened to be enamored with experimental science. For the most part, it was an "inductive" version of Scholasticism, which the Reformers had repudiated. It was a stance totally foreign to those who staked their lives and careers on the authority of Scripture.

In their own way the Reformers maintained what we now term a "dialogical" reading of biblical authority. God does not simply speak through the Bible; God speaks to us. Just as Christ, as Luther put it, is always "pro me (for me)," so also is God's word." Amen.

Carl Rashcke The Next Reformation Why Evangelicals Must Embrace Postmodernity

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Listen up!

Just thinking electronically this morning....what does Coach want from us? Reading on the Illini board that the team has finally started embracing coach Weber's system as opposed to "doing it the way I have always done it or doing it without committing to fundamentals such as defense, blocking out, playing hard every play etc".

Something apparently clicked because they started giving attention to these areas which recently resulted in knocking off a top ten team at home and a top 20 team on the road. Talent only takes a team so what are the fundamentals in the Kingdom? Are we moving well on offense and attacking the basket? Are we looking for the open man and blocking out? Are the captains keeping the rest of the team accountable and leading by example?

It seems to me that the fundamentals of the Kingdom of God...the things that Coach wants to see are basic:
  • acknowledge the superior wisdom / experience of Coach
  • practice doing the stuff He says to do
  • follow and learn from Him
  • proclaim the gospel
  • teach and make disciples of Him (not us)
  • share "the story that we are living into" with potential recruits that visit with us
It seems to me that if Coach gets disciples, students, learners, apprentices that value learning Coaches way, strategies, style of play then where and who we play are less important.

John Wooden apparently never practiced with the next opponent in mind, but instead focused on how his team was practicing in light of his vision for their success on the floor.

What if we all decided to doggedly devote ourselves to the fundamentals and look for recruits to join our team? What if we were able to take our game to a new level?

No agenda here other than dialogue.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

"Women on the loose" - Kjerringsleppet

The Dance of the Dissident Daughter by Sue Monk Kidd

During the 1994 Winter Olympics at Lillehammer, thirty five Norwegian women skied down the slope, opening the giant slalom competition. In Norway this group of bold women is known as the Kjerringsleppet, which roughly translates as "Women on the loose."

The group formed back in 1989 when only men were invited to participate in the opening ceremony of Norway's Alpine Center. The women felt insulted and excluded, so these thirty-five banded together, waited in the woods until the appropriate moment, then shocked everyone by swooping out of the trees on snow skis, clanging cow bells and crashing the ceremony. The country loved it, and the women became a fond symbol, so much so they were invited to the Olympics.

The Kjerringsleppet are a marvelous image for female empowerment and a "woman on the loose" is a woman who leaves the woods where she has been growing strong all these years. She swoops out of the trees, ringing her bell. She is saying, I am here now and I am not going away!

The motto the women on the loose adopted is translated as:
"To improvise, surprise, and come uninvited."

To improvise means to take whatever abilities and resources are available and to use them in whatever situations arises, often an unforseen one. These Norwegian women were presented with a situation in which they were excluded, so they improvised a way to challenge and circumvent it. As Sartre said, "Genius is the way one invents in desperate situations."

An empowered woman becomes a genius in desperate situations; she is an improvisational artist. Rather than bypassing or shrinking from situations where her consciousness is needed, she speaks and acts, relying on something insider herself. To improve you must trust your-self and value your own knowing.

The rest of the Kjerringsleppet motto is "to surprise and come uninvited," which means stepping out of the expected and becoming a daring and dissident presence. Powerful women are always surprising themselves, always getting a small gasp out of the world.

When women speak truly, they speak subversively," writes Ursula K. Le Guin. They refuse to be uninvited. They learn surprising ways to invite themselves.


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

International 'Fat Tuesday' Party Rieger Home

Who Dat?

Please join us for our global Fat Tuesday party - Mardi Gras attire - Rieger home at 7:00pm. Bring an ethnic appetizer or dessert from your country of origin and join in the fun - music, dance, drink, food and friends from around the world ! February 16th.....


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Open Hand faith community: "I want a church that..."

Our help is in the name of the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth." Psalm 124

I want a church that values all people, regards all people as gifted and talented, and encourages the talents of others to be realized to their maximum, empowering people to discover their deepest longing and realize their wildest dreams while meeting the needs of others both near and far.

I want a church that reflects community, encourages community, embraces community and solves its problems through community. I want to part of a village that raises all our children.

I want a church where all types of music, dance, and art are encouraged and accepted and where the art and expression of it are enjoyed both within the body and offered also to the world around it.

I want a church that has a high regard for humor; that values adventure and fun; that carries a mindset that believes God is Involved and God's Involvement brings God great pleasure.

I want a church where leadership doesn't know everything and lives like it doesn't; where questions can be debated, ideas shared; where arguments can be intense, where matters of faith are processed through a multitude of counselors and where no one person is seen as possessing all the answers, all the authority, all the power, but where the essence of the Gospel (reconciliation between people) carries the day.

I want a church where relationships (the mutual pursuit of knowledge, the arts, the offering of support to others in times of success and failure, times of need and in times of plenty) are more important than programs, the style of music, or the acquisition of buildings.

I want a church where the teaching is topical, relevant, Biblical, and addresses the everyday dilemmas of everyday people. I want preaching that promotes morality without moralizing, where truth is proclaimed without judgment, where Grace is expressed through the trust exercised among friends.

I want a church that serves communion with great regularity recognizing that the presentations of bread and wine celebrate the very gifts of life, forgiveness and renewal.

Adapted from My Kind of Church - by Rod E. Smith

(All in unison)

I want a church that has open windows into the Kingdom of God, that calls into existence a prophetic imagination, that has not lost its zeal for learning, for writing and reading, and has life giving passion for creating dynamic new ways of inviting people around the world to travel with one another on this journey of faith with our Lord Jesus.
Open Hand International Christian Community - Worship Liturgy February 7, 2010

Friday, February 5, 2010

Open Hand Schedule of Events

GATHERINGS — monthly pitch-in at The Reynolds Home
  • Sunday February 21st
  • Sunday March 21st - Equinox Celebration
  • Sunday April 25th
  • All Gatherings at 6:30pm

WORSHIP - monthly locations to be announced
  • Sunday February 7th (Starkey Home 6:00pm)
  • Sunday March 7th
  • Sunday April 11th
  • Worship at 6:30pm

PRAYER - Crash Chapel (3174 N. Delaware Street)
  • every Friday morning
  • 6:45 - 8:45 am

Ash Wednesday - February 17th - Crash Chapel 6:45am - 8:45am
St. Patrick's Day - March 17th - Crash Pub - 12pm - 12am

Thursday, February 4, 2010

For Silent Reflection

I purpose to pursue what is in my heart and live with the anxiety and adventure this requires. My focus will be on what is the right question rather than the right answer.

The priority in life is aim over speed, and creating meaningful action and momentum right now despite uncertainty. I will put aside safety and instead view life as a wonderful experiment in God's unfolding Kingdom that is more about learning, development and maturing than merely achieving.

A primary goal is for establishing relationship rather than power, speed or efficiency; for making the choice of a worthy destination rather than the limitation of engaging simply in what I know works. The key is living a meaningful life in the pursuit of what matters.

What matters creates a deeper purpose highlighted by my capacity to dream, reclaim my freedom and once again be idealistic. (The current culture is focused on getting things done, pragmatic, totalitarian, asking wrong questions, predictably with a focus on 'how').

Living into what matters gives my life to things that are hard to measure, invisible, important to me (not them), providing motivation to do what I do. Living with a priority of what matters, I am on a path of risk and adventure, a life of service and engagement; a life transformed by creating something together.

My primary concern becomes the world that I co-create within community. I long to tap into my deepest true self as I connect in refreshing ways of being together with others.

We define our dialogue and discussion via the questions we address. Valid expressions of healthy community help us create more effective workplaces, leading to insight over control, with vision, purpose, common goals, empowerment and flexible structures.

We encourage leadership styles and learning organizations where we are free to fail, while living out our spiritual and human callings. Finally, our accountability to one another must be chosen to ensure that it is not mere compliance or coercion.

Adapted from The Answer to How is Yes by Peter Block Highlighted by O'Steven

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

OPEN HAND Worship - Sunday, Feb 7, 5:00pm

Please join us Sunday evening for OPEN HAND Worship at the Starkey home - February 7th, 5:00 pm. Rich will bring a YWAM Kona blessing....Pitch-in gathering and Colts Super Bowl Party immediately following the service. Bring side dishes / deserts as Rich is cooking his roast tenderloin for the main course. See you there, O'