The thread of redemption does not simply spare us from wrath; it ties us into the glorious, redemptive arc of God.

2007 #GLS from Johannesburg, South Africa

(This entry was originally posted on 23 October 2007.)

image

We’ve been promising photos from the Leadership Summit so you could see the young people in whom we’re trying to invest - especially for those of you who sacrificed so that they might have a chance – thank you again.

We’ve been so pleased with the results of the 2-day conference. The guys (and girls) are still talking about the concepts they learned from Collin Powell, Carly Fiorina, Marcus Buckingham, Richard Curtis, John Ortberg, and Bill Hybels. Google all of those folks. It would be worth your time.

Anyway, let me share some more good news with you. A small Canadian team of ministers has come through and one, in particular, was impressed with my leadership guys. He sat in on our Wednesday night class and offered to buy each guy in the class the book of the speaker of their choice from the conference. Praise the Lord!!

The African children sing a song: “If you believe then I believe, Africa will be saved.”

With your help, there are still days when I can believe that to be true.

the group (minus one who was looking for a toilet):

image

Buying the Self You Want to Be: The Fender Custom Shop

image

There are no shortcuts to authenticity and wisdom. They come with time and tears. Authenticity is developed as we become more of who we are over time. We struggle and fight and learn as we go. Eventually, we embrace who we are and become (somehow) authentically whole. In that, we have wisdom, the collection of knowledge from the journey to our true selves.

Then there is the Fender Custom Shop, at which you can purchase the guitar pictured above. You can spend extra and get a guitar that is hand-crafted and carefully constructed to look worn and well-used - even though it’s brand new. You can look like a lifetime rocker on day one. It is absurd and, yet, absurdly popular.

And this is the direction of our society. How do I buy my way into authenticity? How much does wisdom cost? Why do the hard work to grow and stretch into a better version of myself when I can buy the self I want to be right now?

Lay the credit card down and bypass all of the time and tears required to make us deep, wise souls. Just don’t be surprised when those folks who’ve been through the wars for themselves don’t trust the battle scars of those who seem to have taken a shortcut.

We all carry disabilities and we all have access to a God who has already overcome them. My Sunday @GracePointSA sermon.

Life lived under general anesthetics is no life at all. To live, we must feel. To heal - and bring healing - we must know pain personally.

Artificial culture is paint. Real culture is patina.

Artificial culture is paint. Real culture is patina.

Holden Caulfield walking through 2014.

Holden Caulfield walking through 2014.

It isn’t the size, but the scale, that is so alluring.
This is my conviction.
Scale is what makes place. Scale is what overwhelms the senses in Las Vegas. Scale is what awes someone over open ocean. Scale is what stuns us at the foot of great peaks.
Scale makes place. And scale that is so unlike our own is the allure of places we cannot re-create with strip centers, neon lights, and more asphalt.
Scale is achieved over time and at great odds with itself. It is simultaneously organic and artificial. It is hope and desperation. It is more in less. It is scale, not size, that is so alluring.

It isn’t the size, but the scale, that is so alluring.

This is my conviction.

Scale is what makes place. Scale is what overwhelms the senses in Las Vegas. Scale is what awes someone over open ocean. Scale is what stuns us at the foot of great peaks.

Scale makes place. And scale that is so unlike our own is the allure of places we cannot re-create with strip centers, neon lights, and more asphalt.

Scale is achieved over time and at great odds with itself. It is simultaneously organic and artificial. It is hope and desperation. It is more in less. It is scale, not size, that is so alluring.

The Toxic Landscape of Johannesburg’s Gold Mines

More than a century of gold mining has left towering piles of bleached mine waste, known as “tailings,” throughout Johannesburg’s landscape. The discovery of gold in 1886 led to it’s founding and transformed a small, isolated farming community into South Africa’s largest city. The extraction industry has been part of Johannesburg’s identity ever since, and the mountainous dumps have been a feature of the city so long that locals barely notice them.

“The tailings are the visual foundations of this important city,” says photographerJason Larkin whose project Tales From The City Of Gold digs into social, political and economic forces rooted in the 19th century. “I don’t think many residents even think of them as being made by hand. They see them as just part of the ‘natural’ backdrop to the city.”

But they’re more than scenery. They may be a toxic time bomb.

(Continue Reading)