Head First: Random Stickie...

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Random Stickie...

On my two primary computers, an iMac and my trusty black MacBook, I've come to rely upon a genius little app called "Stickies," which allows me to place collapsible PostIt-type notes all over my desktop. You probably have something like it. It's a handy tool for keeping reminders, to-do lists, phone numbers, etc. as well as a repository for random thoughts, interesting quotes, and other ideas to be stored for later use. Between my two desktops, I must have thirty of these things, mostly consisting of mental meanderings I intended to develop into blog brilliance somewhere down the line. Thing is, I have more thoughts than I have time to sit down and work through them.

Anyway, I was browsing through my pile of Stickies, discarding old lists of already-accomplished chores and people to call back, and ran across this gem:

Relationships need to be organic. They happen as believers get out of their cloisters and interact with the world. It happens when we start to be real and open to the notion that we have something to receive in the exchange instead of wasting our time looking for ways to steer the conversation toward God.

To be honest, I'm not sure whether I wrote this or if it's a quote from someone else, but it was on the same note as a rant (which was definitely mine) about how evangelism and marketing are almost interchangeable terms in the church. Maybe we can work through it together.

Expect to see more from the Stickies pile.

22 comments:

Kenny-Po said...

I was just thinking something along those lines... how much more could we learn if we're actually trying to interact (give and RECEIVE) and not striving to control the interaction... good thoughts.

Missy said...

"...start to be real and open to the notion that we have something to receive in the exchange..."

I am maturing into this, but I must admit my need to please and be admired as a "lover of the lost" gets in the way here. It's not the church, it's me.

Godd post, Dorsey.

Jason said...

Amen to the content of stickies. I've got a few dozen of my own...

sofyst said...

Dorsey, I've somewhat realized this more. I don't want to study theology or religion, I mean I do still, but not for the purpose of being a better evangelist. I just want to live.

I've had more in depth conversations, and more engaging spiritual awakenings by just talking with a friend or loved one, not thinking about the next move to tie it all into the greater truth, than when I attempted to follow the guided steps of the Roman's road.

Then again, this little advice you give helps us hermits none who are for some time afraid to leave our rooms...:(

jefe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jefe said...

Forgive the new-age philosophy in this comment. But this reminds me of the book The Celestine Prophecy by James Redman.

In it, there is a focus on synchronicity, a concept developed by Swiss psychologist, Carl Jung, and made popular by the British rock band, The Police.

Each time 2 people would meet, they were distinctly aware of the necessary exchange that should take place... the idea being that there is a purpose for this encounter-- something I must give to this person and something I must receive from them (ie- wisdom, direction...etc).

And while the Christian life is not such a cosmic chessboard, in my opinion, I believe we're here for each other-- and there's usually some element of give & take.

Molly's Boss said...

Hi Dorsey,

I guess I would agree with your statement; “but it was on the same note as a rant (which was definitely mine) about how evangelism and marketing are almost interchangeable terms in the church.” Whereas I agree, I’m not sure that I should. I have always been reluctant to “evangelize” because it sometimes appears that I am “selling” something to someone who may not be ready to buy and find’s the “pitch” a bore and a nuisance. But I’m not sure that is what is my personality that I need to “get over” or if it is a legitimate feeling. Regardless of that, I find that most of my friends and family for that matter are “within the church”. We attend bible studies on Tuesday nights, Sunday school and church service on Sunday and then prepare for a Prayer meeting in the evening, also on Sunday. I guess the question that goes beyond the “evangelic” question is “do we as Christians need to be giving our talents and time to the Lord, thereby limiting our time elsewhere?” I am away from home most days for about 12 hours. I.E. one hour into work, one hour home from work, one hour lunch (and walk) and between 8 to 9 hours working. I would call myself a normal working stiff perhaps in the blue-collar middle class range and attempting to hang there but no matter how hard I try it economically seems to be going down. I go to the gym 2 or 3 times a week that would then add another hour or two to the day. About the only free time is late at night or Saturday, when the grass needs to be cut and errands made. I do not intend to exclude others but about the only mix that I get with people is on the job, standing in someone’s line to check out, or at church. Where am I supposed to get time to “evangelize” and to whom should this be directed? I keep giving myself the excuse that I do not have the time or network to do so. And I also feel about the “marketing part” that is not me attempting to sell a product but to perhaps introduce the person that does not know Jesus to Jesus. That’s a bit different than selling the product. I never got into the “feather in my cap” or “pat on the back” to “bring you to Christ” because the way I see it, it is all about the Holy Spirits leading not my input. But if that is true then I go back to the first question… it fits my personality to remain silent and not provoke any issues. Jesus did tell us that to present Him to the unsaved world would be an “offence”… He says this in Isaiah, Romans, and 1 Peter. I do not normally want to be offensive to anyone but my dilemma is, “Is He asking me to present Him to another on His behalf on some occasions and I have blown it on His behalf by neglecting to do so?” That’s a bit of a guilt trip that I do not need but it does continue as a dilemma. My natural personality says “forgitaboutit” but another part says I missed an opportunity.

SocietyVs said...

"It happens when we start to be real and open to the notion that we have something to receive in the exchange instead of wasting our time looking for ways to steer the conversation toward God."

I think this is a huge focus in my life for at least the past 3 years. There is something authentic about just being ourselves that no amount of 'look at my faith' can do. I noticed this a while back and have kinda lived by it. I want to be able to be a part of others lives and in order to do that I just needed to be honest in friednships. I kinda changed what evangleism meant to me - now I see it as me living out the things I live by and nothing more...it helped in staying close to others who do not share my faith.

ninjanun said...

A couple of thoughts, in response to others' comments on this topic.....

From Jefe:

Each time 2 people would meet, they were distinctly aware of the necessary exchange that should take place... the idea being that there is a purpose for this encounter-- something I must give to this person and something I must receive from them (ie- wisdom, direction...etc).


I really like this idea. I've been a big believer in the whole giving/receiving aspect of dialog and relationships for awhile now. I've noticed when someone just keeps reiterating their own ideas again and again throughout the conversation and disregards my input (happens a lot in school with a certain teacher who treats all students like we're kindergartners and acts like she knows everything and there's absolutely NO SUBJECT you can teach her about, b/c dammit, she knows more about it than you; after all, she taught at Harvard and has TWO DEGREES) I get frustrated and feel dissatisfied with every interaction with her. Contrast that with the majority of my teachers, who have the attitude of, "we're all adults here, and I can learn just as much from you as you can from me," who, of course, are a delight to be around and you feel like you have a real, human relationship with. I value their input more and find them far more pleasant and natural to be around than the aforementioned know-it-all who comes across more as just disregarding other people's experiences and ideas, rather than actually looking smart/qualified/etc.

From Molly's boss:
I guess the question that goes beyond the “evangelic” question is “do we as Christians need to be giving our talents and time to the Lord, thereby limiting our time elsewhere?”

If you find that all your friends/family are christian, and all your free time is spent doing churchy things with other christians, perhaps you're not really giving all your talent and time to the Lord, especially if you believe that bit about going and making disciples.

After leaving church, I found it especially offensive when friends of mine who still did lots of regularly-scheduled churchy things would turn down invitations to hang out with me and my non-christian friends for special, one-time occasions (such as my 30th birthday party) because they had their weekly bible study to go to. "No thanks, I don't want to celebrate this special, you-only-turn-30-once-in-your-life event; I'd rather do the same thing I do every Friday night, every week, year after year..."

(seriously, wtf? Who does a home group bible study on a Friday night?! It's not like we were asking them to commit the unpardonable sin of Missing Sunday Service!)

leastofthem said...

Is the real problem our definition of witness? I can only really testify (or share with others) what I have seen for myself and know to be genuinely true, admittedly mixed with my own personal reasoning and experience. Versus, proclaiming a truth that I have not fully reasoned through or lived out as best I know to do. Then I must resort to selling a product which I think is excellent but am not fully prepared to present or back up (die for), where I am more concerned with myself than the person I am interchanging with.

If I know that God has created the person in front of me, than I believe he or she has worth because of that fact. I approach him with respect and care in whatever exchange I might have with him. It would follow that he has something to give to me that is valuable and vice versa. How intentional my exchange is, is determined by the circumstances God allows. If I am truly genuine, how can Christ not be there in our exchange in some form?

Acts 9:36-42 is very encouraging to me. “Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which by interpretation is called Dorcas: this woman was full of good works and almsdeeds which she did. And it came to pass in those days, that she was sick, and died: whom when they had washed, they laid [her] in an upper chamber… And he gave her [his] hand, and lifted her up, and when he had called the saints and widows, presented her alive. And it was known throughout all Joppa; and many believed in the Lord.” If we are faithful to do what is before us, He blesses with His resurrection power (in whatever way He chooses) and draws others to Himself.

Caro said...

leastofthem:
Super! We may need to live "soberly and rightly", doing our jobs, taking care of our families, and involving ourselves (ninjanun) with others. Maybe they will then see our "good works". Getting religious usually builds a wall. Unless the Holy Spirit has prepared someone, our stuff won't get there. Jesus' Great Commission should read: "As you are going in the world..." This takes the emphasis off "GO.." and puts it on the ordinary living that we will be doing; thus, in our routines, there will arise opportunities for us to share our faith as we share the burdens and troubles of our friends and colleagues.
Gosh, maybe it all means that we just go on living and let God do the hard work of preparing the soil or soul for His message in His time and He will "provide the increase" and cut me out of the glory people might want to give me. That's OK with me, as I trust Hi to remember when it really counts- in eternity.

dorsey said...

Outstanding comments, all.

Operating in such a framework sounds a lot like that passage in 1 Peter 3:

And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it. But do this in a gentle and respectful way.

I wish more people did it that way.

jefe said...

You know Dorse, this is a place where everyone can come and discuss topics and an amicable and peaceful manner.

The other day, I was having a Testamint, reading the next installment in the Left Behind series, and I noticed something. In the last days, there will be one who rises from the east (isn't Jersey in the east?), who will bring peace to all men, and create a one-world religion.

Could it be that Dorsism is, in fact, that one-world religion, and you, with your peaceful blog are in fact that next messiah the scriptures call anti...

(Wow! I've figured it all out! I'm calling TBN!!!)

hmmm... :)

dorsey said...

SHHHH!

Don't blow this for me, Jefe. Becoming the leader of the world is my only ticket out of Jersey (the REAL abomination that causes desolation). Hell doesn't intimidate me, either. In New Jersey, most of the lakes are already on fire.

hehe
(just kidding, Lord)

Kc said...

slap or hug...slap or hug... slap or hug...

The above thought is in reference to your last comment. (hehe) A hug is most certainly in order for this article and the remaining thoughts that flowed from it. ;-)

sofyst said...

I would say if you wanted to get out Jersey so bad, you should just come to Texas. I was just admiring the beauty of Dallas the other day...I do wish that I could just have the city of Dallas, with all its architecture and whatnots, without the pretentious and shallow Dallasites. So, leaving Jersey to go to the beautiful city in the seat of Hell probably would not be best advised. Although, perhaps the *one-whose-name-we-will-not-speak* would like it here more than the place with fiery lakes. Who knows?

Kris said...

I agree with you Dorsey. Its so easy to get caught up in "doing" and forget about just "being". Relating to others has human "beings" instead of marketing targets is a novel idea for the "program" oriented church today.


BTW what are cloisters?

Rock in the Grass said...

I came across this in Nouwen:

"Healers are hosts who patiently and carefully listen to the story of the suffering strangers. Patients are guests who rediscover their selves by telling their story to the one who offers them a place to stay. In the telling of their stories, strangers befriend not only their host but also their own past.” Henri Nouwen, Reaching Out

PG

Kc said...

Dorse, you're on my list of blessings.

May God bless you all.

Missy said...

Hey, you should post sumpin' so that when I stop by jes to see wazup I don't see this post and repeatedly mis-read as "Random Stinkie" - it reminds me of early motherhood. Then again, it makes me laugh. :D

JimmyBob said...

Caro - I like your application of the Great Commission. For most everyone, what you are saying is true. As you are going, live out your belief in Christ, for that is the most effective way to teach and make disciples.

However, no matter how we understand the Great Commission, I don't think that there is any doubt that for some (including Jesus' original disciples), it did bear the weight of going into all the world and planting churches, becoming pastors and teachers, etc. Jesus had prophesied that the gospel would be preached in all the world, and then the end would come.

Molly's Boss - I can totally relate with you. As a pastor, I find myself surrounded by believers and little time to speak with my neighbors, etc. I think I blew it today, when I was at a gas station and a young teenage boy came up to me, selling chocolates as part of a program to keep himself and others out of gangs, etc. He gave me his pitch and I politely told him I had no money on me. He went away looking discouraged. As I was driving away in my vehicle, I thought about the fact I had some coins in my pocket that I could have atleast offered him, even if it wasn't enough for the candy.

I wonder how it would have encouraged him if I had. I wonder if he would have had a better view of the world and people and all the good things that view leads to if I only thought more creatively.

Next time, I'll be more alert for opportunity. Sometimes you have to think out of the "box." And as Ninjanun relates, sometimes you have to just get of the box and be among the people of the world.

JimmyBob said...

That should have read, "Sometimes you just have to get out of the box and be among the people of the world.