Archive for September, 2007

Cool vs. Effective

September 27, 2007

Read where Rick Warren said…“Concern: some churches would rather be creative and cute than effective; they prefer cool to effectiveness. Problem: most of the world is not “cool” and those churches become boutiques. (Eg, Wal-Mart is not cool.)” Thanks for the link Jeremy.

I agree.

Ever since I was a kid I have noticed and thought about how some people are cool. Well, sure I’ve wanted to be cool and maybe you could say I was -to some people (and maybe not to others), but generally I have always thought it was buggish as the English would call it.

I have friends in ministry who are really cool, but when I’m around some of them I feel an awkwardness that’s hard to describe. I feel a coldness. I have some ministry friends who do some really cool things and yes, who are really cool, but I don’t see the kind of life change described in the Bible oozing from within. I won’t dare criticize them because God uses all kinds of people. But I just want to look at them and ask them why I feel this way and why won’t they love and listen to everyone, not just the seemingly “important” people.

God addresses this in many passages. We are to maintain a balanced lifestyle of love and Truth. God’s movement is about trust and Truth, grace and love.

I have to admit I often feel tempted to try and be cool rather than effective. I am careful about who is on our team. I hope to build a team who wouldn’t know they are cool if they were, who just does what they can to reach real people.

The ultimate goal is always to not see the clothes we wear or the positions we’ve held. It’s to just see Jesus.

The meaning of a to-do list

September 27, 2007

No, I cannot imagine the horror and pain New Yorkers felt. I remember walking into the conference room at the organization I was serving at in Dallas. The emotions that welled up inside me. Then a few days later being in NYC and witnessing a destraught city looking for something, hope, meaning and answers.

This post that reads beautifully while touching a nerve. It’s by far the best post I’ve read in a long time.

The Genuis Misfits

September 27, 2007

Here’s a video worth watching. Created by Michael Wesch, Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology at Kansas State University. The Wizard Academy calls him a good example of a genuis misfit, something they specialize in. A genius misfit, says the Wizard Academy, is someone who suceeds in the mainstream even though they never feel completely part of it.

Would you be called a genuis misfit?

Seeing people differently

September 23, 2007

As you can see I’ve tentatively changed the name of my blog. Not sure if I’ll keep “i see people” or not. That happens to be the quote I have on my personal business card. See.

As you read it on my card, if you look uniquely you’ll see it doesn’t just say “i see people.” It really says “i see people differently.” And well, I try, because every person is different. There are no cookie-cutter people. That’s impossible.

I think it’s valuable for every person to train their minds to see things differently. Curiosity is one of the most permanent and certain characteristics of a vigorous mind, says Samuel Johnson. Tom Peters champions, We are all unique. Beware Standardized evals: One size NEVER fits all. One size fits one. PERIOD. 53 Players = 53 Projects = 53 different success measures.

It is true. The guy who has nothing to say has something to say. Everyone has something to add—a value to give—an experience to share. No matter who is talking—listen closely and you’ll see the truth in this. In fact, if you listen hard enough you’ll have to buckle up because it might be too bumpy to ride if you’re not ready for it.

No matter how hard you try you are going to be different. You can’t be like anyone else. Don’t try. You can’t.

So there you go. I’ve been meaning to change the name for some time. Hopefully, this name will be easier to say (as I know conversoulogy isn’t). I also plan on revamping my entire blog.

A new update

September 21, 2007

I know. There hasn’t been too much posting this week. Here’s the latest…

• Met with my friend Lee McCutchan for a few hours over at the Ministry Ventures office. He told me about this thing called Hyperbaric Treatment that has changed his life. So, I’m going to give this a try. Lee’s not the kind of guy who just jumps into something, which I appreciate about him. Lee’s in the convergence season of his life, since he sold his company a few years back. That company had up to 180,000 taking classes at once. Hyperbaric is an innovative treatment. He said a lot of professional athletes use it. John Smoltz has one at his house and gets in it before games to give him a mental boost. Thanks Lee –for your generosity.
• George Zimmer called and recommended someone in Atlanta. For now, we’re going to put that on hold since we are working with some other doctors.
• Amber’s dad has recently become friends with a doctor named Ray Strand. Dr. Strand is a M.D. who for years thought vitamins didn’t work and nutrition could be gotten from just a normal diet (like many medical doctors believe). Then his wife became ill and they couldn’t out what was wrong with her. That is, until she started taking nutritional supplements and soon thereafter she felt better. Dr. Strand went on to write a bunch of books with Thomas Nelson. He’s been very accessible to us, which is nice. Thanks to Amber’s mom and dad for helping out with this and being so generous to help me get on Dr. Strand’s Usana program that has helped over 2,000 people.
• I am sleeping better, largely due to the prescribed sleeping medication (something that I put off doing because I don’t like taking medications unless I have too). But even these super powerful sleeping pills can take up to 2 hours or more to put me to sleep.
• Besides this I am working like crazy to finish up a consulting paper/analysis for my friend at Chick-fil-A. I’ve developed this tool called “We are all the same. Unique.” And God’s opening more doors to use it to help leaders clarify their unique passion, wiring and calling. It’s fun to be able to mix my leadership research and experiences with my love to write and individualize. And craft something leaders can put in their backpack. I’ll tell you more about this later.
• Last night we hosted another spiritual dialogue at our home. Can’t get enough of ’em! We are truly blessed with wonderful community around us to “do life” and to spur each other on to live the gospel! We thank God for you.

Frustrated, No. Intrigued, Yes.

September 10, 2007

I have a hunch that when some heard we came back without a root cause they felt really sorry for us. We have one word for you: Don’t! I know you must think we are frustrated. It makes sense, right? Actually, we are more excited than we have ever been. We hear God’s voice and see Him working. What else can we ask for? I’ve been fully healthy while not having that before, and it wasn’t fun.

We’ve been able to experience a closeness in relationships that is insurmountable in light of any normal season.

Bottom-line: My body is hurting, but my spirit and soul are growing.

I am intrigued by what God is doing. First and foremost He is growing us (Amber is going through this too). What a loving Father! Second, He has a plan—and this is part of His plan. Isn’t that exciting?! I could give you stories and stories, opportunities and opportunities of ways I think God has used this. But none of them will compare with the real story God is writing. Only He knows the purest and clearest reasoning behind this. That is why I don’t even feel the need to explain the many, many reasons I can think of why and how God is using this. If you need that, then you don’t know or have forgotten who our God really is. But if you do, then you know how God works and how beautiful that really is! I don’t feel the need to explain everything – as Paul wrote about in I Corinthians 9—I just give what I can and follow God the best I can and leave everything else to Him. Like Paul wrote about, if I tried to please everyone it would not only be unwise, it would be wrong. So, I thank you for trusting and sharing what the Lord is doing in and through us. And we do the same for you and with faith that God is pursuing us (and you) no matter what stage or season any of us are in. That’s the most important thing.

Even though it is highly tempting to be frustrated (and we all are at times) -it is much better to turn such possible frustration into hope, and of course, faith. And I hope to make my way each day with a slice of intrigue because I never know what God wants to do “today”. Perhaps, it is this mystery, when embraced, that makes life a thrill to live.

I pray our lives and your life is as He wants them to be. I pray we will each walk with Him all the days of our lives. And I pray we will “be still” long enough to remember who God really is and that will be our guide post as we live each and every day.

Final Day: (Is this the end or the beginning?)

September 7, 2007

The end is near (or so we think).

I’m writing this on day five, and it can’t be a bad day considering what day four was like. I wouldn’t mind etching that from my memory. Not only were the tests painful (and I might add, personal), they did not lead to a viable answer. “There is something wrong,” the Doctor alluded, “I just can’t pinpoint the root cause.” So you’re basically saying that something is wrong in my body, but you don’t have a clue what it is. That’s a hard pill to swallow.

Then my Internist who is quite the guy, upon looking at all of my test results and detailed reports from all the specialists, looked at us and said something like this, “We at Mayo get some of the worst cases out there, and are known to find answers that others could not find. But… (uh oh, I don’t want to hear that word “but”) there are some cases we don’t figure out.” Ouch. He didn’t say that did he? Then he goes on, “Sometimes it takes time.” I have heard that before. “You have to try things.” Thankfully, I do have a few new things to try. “Other times it can be too early to catch whatever is going on.” Interesting, but that makes sense.

So, you can imagine our spirits as we begin this last day that includes one last meeting with our Internist.

We continue to feel hopeful and how important it is to keep reminding ourselves how grateful we are that so many horrible cancers, tumors and diseases have been eliminated. This is especially encouraging to consider among so many others who are incredibly sick. However, all we know is that something’s off in our spirits.

We want to accept that –hey, if Mayo can’t fix you then only God can, right? (Yes, we believe this but we don’t feel in our hearts this is the only way we need to think.) We know God can heal me right now, but we also know He has a plan that we are to trust and follow.

“Unscheduled” Appointment

Now, it’s 10am and we have some time until our last appointment. We decide it would be good to go to the Starbucks 100 feet from the main building. Our souls are longing for some “soul nourishment” time. I drop my laptop and Bible on the comfy chair and tell Amber I need to take a walk.

When I return she is engaged in conversation with a lady probably in her fifties. She has a blood pressure checker wrapped around her arm, and hooked around her neck to hold it up. I can tell they are “into” it, in a very sincere, genuine sort of way.

Sherri is a former Ophthalmologist from Western Wisconsin, a strong Christian, and a very sweet demeanor. Well, for the next hour or so she pumps Amber with tremendous insight and encouragement. There’s a lot of common ground going on in that conversation.

While they were talking, this guy in a Tommy Bahama shirt and black jeans jumps into the conversation every now and then. He seems very curious, and also seemed to have a lot of common ground with Amber and Sherri. Sherri’s husband has been sick for a long time as well, somewhat similar to me but had improved a lot, so they were able to relate a lot. And the guy, whose name is George, could relate too because his daughter has been sick for a long time, and his wife is there for breast cancer. While this was going on I was chatting on the other side of George with someone Sherri had met at Mayo named Barbara. She was there for her routine check-up. A dynamic Christian herself, we had a wonderful conversation and prayer.

I’m getting somewhere so stay with me a little bit longer.

We find out that George is someone we all know. When he handed me his card it said George Zimmer, CEO and Chairman of the Board, Men’s Warehouse.

That made me chuckle.

Most of us know him from the television commercials he narrated, usually closing with the company slogan “You’re going to like the way you look. I guarantee it.” Started in 1973, and now there are over 700 stores across the U.S. and Canada.

So, we’d like to shout out a big thanks to Sherri, Barbara and George, our newfound friends. God used you to give us the exact wisdom we needed to move forward. Our hearts skipped a beatwhen we met you.

You guys encouraged us to consider more options. You agreed that Mayo is the best in the world at what they do, which is a wide range of traditional medicine. But now that we have more options, we feel led to keep searching.

Goodness it’s hard to be flint!

September 4, 2007

But we are deeply grateful to have His promises. Thank you for sharing scriptures with us and for your constant prayers- we certainly need them. So far, not much has been “revealed” in the physical realm- although always encouraging to cross off more of the “really bad” things from the list! We are still waiting on more test results and Bryan has two tests today- one that has been done and was abnormal so they are checking further- although when asking the Dr. if this could be causing his other issues, he didn’t think so. There have been some things recommended to “try” out as his symptoms remain very hard to diagnose- even for the Mayo Clinic. But we are still praying that if there is something that is “missing” or just hasn’t been a light bulb in the doctor’s minds- that it will come to mind. They will be conferring today and tomorrow- so please pray as they discuss and think that if there is something that hasn’t yet come to the light, that it will.

Interesting to say the least that one doctor while asking about the process of this illness actually asked if a lot of good has come out it- and of course we went on and on about great things that have happened and how God has used it. Then he said (admittedtly tongue in cheek!) “Well, if God is allowing this, then who are we physicians to wrestle Him to the ground?” Whoa. That was crazy. Especially since there wasn’t really evidence that he was a believer. And not long before that- Bryan was able to share with him and he had lots of questions about faith and what specifically that means. So who knows?! What we do know is that we are supposed to be here and that no matter what, we will continue to seek healing in Bryan’s physical body, while at the same time seeking to glorify the Lord in the midst of this challenge.

2 Timothy 1:12 For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.

Status, and Sioux Falls

September 2, 2007

I only have a second to write. We are in Sioux Falls with Amber’s family. …hanging at the lake and without an internet connection.

So far, we have eliminated some things (more on that later) and are waiting to hear the results from the MRI and Lymes Disease test. Friday was a very busy day, to say the least! So, check back later for more stories and info.

We will be back at Mayo on Tuesday morning.

Here’s a pic we took yesterday:
unruh-family.jpg

unruhfamily_forweb.jpg

Happy Labor Day Weekend!

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