From the monthly archives:

October 2009

Creativity Re-Defined

by Philthevoid on October 31, 2009

Often I hear people say:

“I’m not good at art. I can’t draw. I can’t sing. I can’t dance… I wasn’t designed that way, Phil. You might be artistically-inclined, but you know what, I’m not like that. I don’t think artistically. I’m not creative.”

Self-degrading and ridiculous! It might be true that you are not a technician in the application of media, or that you can’t bend your vocal chords to belt out that note, or you really were born with two left feet… but that does not make you not creative… The fact that you are formulating a thought, articulating a word, transforming and twitching your face into an expression … are all small creations you’ve taken for granted. Everything we think, everything we say, and everything we express through our bodily expressions, are all part of a greater collective. You are contributing to the culture and the fabric of our society by everything you do each and every day… whether you know it, or don’t know it, believe it, or choose not to believe it… You are creating every single day of your life. If you really believe that your life is so boring and uninteresting, that you really do not envision yourself as someone who creates, but is just breathing air and pumping blood to sustain your crude carbon body with nothing creative to offer this world, then I guess I’m here today, deliberately with the intent to talk to you. I’m challenging you…. with two questions: First, (and this is gonna come out pretty dramatically) Why are you living? Second, and more importantly, why do you say you live for God?

Really I am here to share some of my own story and to share in my own walk, but my story is connected with yours. For me, as a seeker of Christ for over a dozen years now, you are what I know about this Christian institution called Church. You as an individual is playing your part in fitting stones in the path before me, as I am trying desperately to stay on it. And at the same time, as I trip down the path and unwedge the stones you’ve placed down, in my mind, I’m wondering whether you’ve placed the stones in the right spot. Quite the conundrum.

Most of you in this room, have made a public statement that you follow Jesus Christ. From what I understand, following Christ is not a responsive action statement, it requires initiative. If you are following Christ, your life, is the single greatest manifesto for your creative self you didn’t think existed. Finding passion in the things that God has entrusted to you, and to you alone is what this is all about. It is not about being recognized for a talent in an art form, or being recognized as a “creative person”. Being creative is just being what God intended of you. It’s about finding your vocation and living your life pursuing it, to love God, help others, and to serve humanity. This is what Mosaic is about. Never to be the same again. Never being the same again is about finding your passion to change your life. To evolve. To create. Finding what God has placed on your heart and living it. Creating and living that life every day…. take a moment to think about that… And better yet, take a moment to pray about that.

Lon and I are not here at the front of the room to tell you, you should go become a rock star. It’s not about going off and trying to paint the Sistine chapel. It’s definitely not about trying out for the tv show, “So You Think You Can Dance”. It’s not about what we say, it’s about what God is saying. What is He saying? What is He saying to you? It is about finding that passion that empowers you to love God, help others and serve humanity. It can be in the big things, but most likely, it’s in the small things:

     · Nurturing relationships

     · Tuning into people around you

     · Smiling

It’s about the small things… take care of the people around you. Your family, your friends, the bus driver that drives you every day, the cashier at the grocery store, the janitor at work or school. You see these people often. But do you know them? Think of 3 people in your daily school, work, domestic or church lives you have not taken the time to get to know. Ask yourself, why have you not created a relationship with these people?  I recently have made it a mandate to spend time at the end of the day talking to the caretaking staff at my work: Angelo and Gloria. A wonderful couple who has been sweeping floors and wiping toilets for over 30 years. An immigrant family from Peru, who has two children, a chiropractor and lawyer, now moved away from home. They work from 4pm to 11pm every day. They are so dedicated to their work, that they come in to the office even when it is closed on snow-days. They work tirelessly and always have a smile on their faces.

Do you know the names of the people who clean up the mess you leave behind? Is your life spreading love to others as Jesus did? Or are you just worried about completing that report on time?

Understanding that we aren’t all friend-makers… some people are more outgoing and friendly than others… but ask yourself when was the last time you really nurtured a relationship? When was the last time you tuned into somebody around you, while letting your own priorities and anxieties fall to the wayside? When was the last time you offered a smile to someone? You are creating each and every single day of your life.

Being creative can be about visual arts. That appeals to our eyes… Being creative can be about music. That appeals to our ears…  Being creative can be about breaking bread with others. That appeals to our taste… Being creative can be about relationship. That appeals to our feelings… Being creative – is about being.

Living.

It is the greatest gift you’ve been given, by the Master Creator…

Your life.

Aren’t you going to create the most with it?

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Lauryn Hill on Faith

by Lon on October 28, 2009

Here’s an intriguing sharing from Lauryn Hill (former grammy award winner of the Fugees) on life, faith, passion, and putting up fronts.

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Life is Art

by Lon on October 26, 2009

You are created by the hands of a master artist.

You were created to create, imagine, risk, and, express. How would you live life if you were an artist? How would you approach everything you do? What new things would you attempt?

Carol posted a post and a second one reflecting on our gathering.

Below is the sand art animation that we previewed.

What are your thoughts?

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Rezound

by Lon on October 21, 2009

Rezound_SaintsintheCity

I’m helping a friend with an event called Rezound this Friday Oct. 23rd at Knox Presbyterian Church.

It will be an arts-filled night, and the theme of the evening will be on – Creating community and engaging our urban environment

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Living an Extraordinary Life

by Lon on October 21, 2009

What are your thoughts?

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Why Thanks & Giving

by Lon on October 14, 2009

There’s a lot of what we do, that sometimes may be different from your typical church, that is loaded with meaning, but we don’t often explain. ie. a few thoughts on this past Thanks & Giving

- We celebrate not because of simply it’s that thanksgiving time of the year, but because Thanks & Giving are very much at the heart of the Gospel. It’s with thanks that Christ broke the break, and it was with life, body, and blood that he gave to humanity. We’re called to do the same

- We began with the Jesus Meal / Eucharist / Communion because that’s usually is the space we create dedicated to allowing God to speak to you. Rather than ending our gathering, since this was a time of communal sharing, we wanted to allow you to share in response to our collective moments with God.

- We believe in the priesthood of all believers. We provided time for people to prepare before our gathering and also spontaneously share because we truly value your voices. God is in a conversation with every single one of you, whether you know it or not, and it enriches our community when we get a chance to tune in as well.

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Human Footprint

by Lon on October 13, 2009

I love how many voices in our community have been exploring the themes of consumption and creation lately. Check this above trailer out, the entire series is available on youtube as well. I’d love to know what you think.

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Reflection on Global Awareness Luncheon

by Sophia on October 12, 2009

First and foremost, I would like to thank you all the host families and everyone who participated in the series of Global Awareness Luncheon.  I hope it has been a good communal learning experience for all of us.  Personally, I have learnt a lot……for example, I now have a better understanding of the economic, environmental and community-building benefits of supporting local farmers and different ways of doing it through Elaine and Daniel’s hosting.  And I never knew the horrific meat and food consumption pattern that we, North American have inherited until the revelation from Yvonne and Lon’s little research.  I have also learnt so many different recipes of making simple and yet savoring and stomach-filling dishes from many of you that it is really not that hard to practice simple eating and remembering the impoverished in our daily lifestyle.   Last but not the least, I hope you are like me who have enjoyed the fellowship through the hospitality of the host families, and yes, we have even raised little fund to support different ministries (Oxfam, local food bank, the Matthew House…to name a few) to address some of the social injustice issues around us. 

As this comes to an end, I hope this little initiative I have taken has also encouraged you to come share your passion that God has placed in your heart with the Mosaic community.  After all, I think this is what Mosaic is about.  That everyone can bring in their gifts and passion from Christ and ministries to share with the Mosaic community , practicing priesthood of ALL believers .  (umm… I can’t believe such a Baptist theology is coming from my mouth and yet I am never a true Baptist…=P).  In turn Mosaic brothers and sisters are to hold you accountable, walk with you in your ministries, offer support in whatever way we can.    To me, Micah 6:8 “He has showed you, O man, what is good.  And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”  speaks to me paramountly all the time.   Thank you for allowing me to share my conviction with you through this little creative project and thank you for joining me in this journey of reflection and community experience.

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