Archives For Story

I have learned more in the past 6 months than I have in the past 6 years” is probably not a good conversation starter that you want to use on your parents any time soon. But the simple fact is, I am learning so much about life, leadership, and business right now that I have a hard time keeping my excitement to myself.

Do not tell my parents this, but College was a huge waste of time. Forgive this obvious ignorance, this is not to be a blanket statement. Not all of college is a waste of time, but there were aspects that seemed rather pointless. The money spent, the time wasted and the pointless classes all have led me to believe college isn’t all that it is cracked up to be. College can be more like a place to hide rather then a place to excel.

Dream with me here, what if instead of going to college right after high school we started a business, traveled the world, moved to a different city, or even invested the money in the stock market? What if we did it all different then what we were told to do?
Continue Reading…

An exercise for you:

-Grab a piece of paper (yes a real piece of paper)

-Write at the top “If my life was a story, what is the plot of my character?

-Answer the question.

I hope that you can fill that sheet of paper with words.
If not, keep reading below.

For most of us (myself included) we know we are a character in a story, a story that is bigger then ourselves, a story that has an overarching theme. As a character in this story we interact with other characters each and every day. Some of these characters have defined purpose and plot, other characters are more like “extras” that sit at the bar sipping on a cocktail trying to blend in. But sometimes it is easy to get lost in the story, to lose sight of where you are going.
Simply put, you lose purpose and meaning.

I have to ask the question again:

Are You A Character In Search Of A Plot?

Still don’t know the answer?
Here is a way to distinguish if you are in search of a plot or not:

If you have no plot:

  • You start projects only to stop them half way
  • You find yourself spending money on items that you think will bring happiness only to find you want more
  • When challenged you shrink back rather then step up
  • You are always asking others for things rather then giving away anything
  • You listen to Ke$ha (okay that is sort of a joke, but seriously don’t do this)
  • You tend to react with anger rather then patience when dealt setbacks
  • You constantly compare yourself to others

If you have a plot:

  • You live from a place of response not reaction
  • You have clear life goals and plans to accomplish them
  • You speak less and listen more
  • When faced with a “no” you keep moving forward
  • You don’t just consume you produce
  • You spend less time looking for answers and more time asking questions

The way you answer the question above will determine the direction your life takes. Often times the plot does not reveal itself until we spend some time searching for it out. If you find yourself feeling like a character in search of a plot spend some time writing out the last three months of your journey notices recurring themes and situations. Spend time going through the characteristics of those who have a plot and those who do not have a plot and see check which applies to you.

The plot will never reveal itself until we are willing to see it.

Question: Is there anything you would add to either list?

*kyle

I was reflecting on some teaching of Jesus yesterday and I came across Luke 6.

In Luke 6 we see Jesus picking Apostles. He chose 12 of them. Now to be honest I have always glazed over this part because I already knew who the apostles were and it was just a bunch of names that I didn’t want to read. But the other day verse 12 leaped off the page.

One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God. 13When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he also designated apostles

In college I had a class called Christian Spirituality. It was a legendary class taught by a legendary professor. The class consisted of an entire semester spent going through the book of Mark and then a 3 day retreat in the woods that was led by our professor. One of the things I remember about this class was when our professor was teaching he would have us underline any time Jesus went off to pray. It was glaring all throughout the book of Mark that Jesus spent a lot of time in prayer and conversation with His father.

Fast forward back to the yesterday. As I sat there reading this passage I was reminded of the book of Mark, I was reminded of how pathetic my prayer time is, and I was reminded that Jesus was seeking guidance.

I think often times when I need to make a big decision I definitely look for advice, for guidance, and for encouragement. I spend time in prayer, talking with friends, and doing a lot of talking to myself. But what I hardly ever do is act. This isn’t a post about how we need to spend more time praying and seeking advice (though that is definitely true) this is a post about how we need to act. That is what struck me so much about verses 12 and 13. Jesus spent time in prayer, but then when morning came He chose twelve apostles that would go on to lead the Church.

It is so easy to over spiritualize things. To think that we need a sign, a miracle, or an act of God to step forward. Often times all we need to do is act.

*kyle

So being honest, the past couple of weeks (maybe months now! wow) Is the most I have ever written in my life and I have really enjoyed it!

Kyle reached out to me on twitter asking  if I wanted to write for Standing on Giants, I took the opportunity but I was apprehensive. Could I really turn out content on a regularly? My blog goes weeks without new stuff. I HATE writing stuff for school, the times I have enjoyed writing it has been writing outlines for scripts, plus I stink at spelling! But, it was a challenge and I took it, and yes it might sound funny, but I was nervous. Now weeks later…. its nothing to me! (thank goodness! haha).

I think everyone can learn something from this. We have to at the very least TRY stuff sometimes.

The people who succeed most often fail most often.

What are you scared of starting? Who knows what you can do until you try!

Try doing that new, scary thing this week…. and tell us how it goes!

*chris

I struggle memorizing anything. I took three years of spanish and the only thing I learned is that if I had to choose a spanish name it would definitely be Jorge and answering no hablo espanol on every test question will not get you an A.

Most of the reason for my struggles in memorization came from a lack of discipline. I was not motivated to study or work, instead I wanted it to be easy. That is how most of my memorization goes. I expect to read it one time and then store it away for all of eternity in my nice sized brain. So far that method has allowed me to memorize my phone number, people’s names (I am good at that actually) and my home address. But I often wonder, what if there was another way to memorize? What if you could use a trick to help you store information and recall it when need be?

I seriously think music has a great connection to learning. I can recall hundreds of songs and the lyrics as soon as I hear the beat (drop that beat DJ) or guitar riff. There is a connection to memorization and music.

This video talks a little more about using music to tell stories.

Soundworks Collection: Walt Disney Imagineers from Michael Coleman on Vimeo.

How do you memorize things?

*kyle

This is a must read from Andrew Peterson. I am still chewing on this:

Art, if it can be ascribed value, is most valuable when its beauty (and the beauty of the truth it tells) bewilders, confounds, defies evil itself; it does so by making what has been unmade; it subverts the   spirit of the age; it mends the heart by whispering mysteries the mind   alone can’t fathom; it fulfills its highest calling when into all the   clamor of Hell it tells the unbearable, beautiful, truth that Christ has died, Christ is risen, and Christ will come again. None of these songs and stories matter if the beauty they’re adding to isn’t the kind of beauty that redeems and reclaims.

That doesn’t mean every song and every story has to be a sermon. Not at all! But the very existence of great stories and stirring music and good art is a sermon itself. That anyone at all in the world would set their sad heart and tired hands to working beauty out of chaos is a monument to Grace. It reminds us of light and high beauty,  and it laments the world’s great sorrow. It gives the heart language to rejoice and language to mourn.

Creation groans like a woman in labor? Even so. And we know every birth is a tight-wound cord of fear and joy, pain and pleasure, striving and surcease. Let those who can, tell that story. Let those in Christ whose hands paint worlds, whose tongues limn loveliness, whose ears hear astral strains–let them make, and make, and make. And let the made things adorn the dark and proclaim the coming Kingdom till the King himself is come.

If this resonated with you, check out Andrew Peterson’s books and music here

*kyle

In 2005 I spent the summer in Joplin MO on an internship with a summer teen conference. I lived on a college campus and shared a room with a guy I knew from college. I remember specifically one day a discussion we had about a book he was reading. The book was called the Perks of Being a Wallflower. As I sat there listening to him describe the book and what it was about the only thing I heard was how great it was to sit on the sidelines and watch. I remember going to bed that night feeling sad about the idea of sitting back and watching. I felt like I was being called to be a bystander and not a participant.

This past week I have been reminded of what it means to be a bystander and a participant. I was reminded of the results and outcome of both.

As a bystander I sat and watched
As a participant I moved and acted

As a bystander I become bitter and regretful
As a participant I was happy and energized

As a bystander I missed out on opportunities
As a participant I created opportunities

Continue Reading…