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Archive for July, 2007

A Whole New Mind

Just the other day, I went to the Dr’s office for a routine visit. I figured I would take a new book with me to read so I chose one that I have been meaning to read for over a year now but just haven’t gotten around to it.

A Whole New Mind by Daniel H. Pink was surprisingly, a quick read for me and it was very interesting. Daniel lays the groundwork for the book in the first couple chapters by explaining the ages we have progressed through including the agricultural age, the industrial age, the information age, and now progressing into the conceptual age. What is the conceptual age? Daniel explains it as Right brain driven… that is, a creative age.

He continues by sharing about how all the information jobs are being off shored to places like India, Asia, and the Philippines, where they can do it faster, cheaper, and just as good if not better. So where does that leave us? It leaves us with design as Daniel would posture.

It used to be that products were “utilitarian” in nature and the factors that distinguished one product from another on the store shelves was quality and cost. Nowadays, however, most consumer goods, are made so equally well, and are priced so similarly, that its hard to tell them apart…. that leads us to design. Good design.

Daniel proposes that its actually design and creative prowess that will lead this next generation and will determine if our students today will be earning a living at businesses and corporations, or eaking out the monthly rent working at McD’s or BK. Its a bold theory, however, it does make sense and we see it already in companies like GM, and Target, where design for the everyday consumer is taking over. Think about it for a sec…. why else do people find places like Target so interesting? Is it not because its one of the few places you can find a Michael Graves toilet brush? A toilet brush! Cant you get that at WalMart for $2.99? But yet Target is selling them… along with designer toasters and microwaves.

To carry Daniel’s theory a bit further, let’s consider the classic toaster. Now, when I got married, everyone told us to “make sure you get a good toaster!” Hmmmm, why is that? I mean, in reality, the toaster is used at best, 15 minutes a day, which means that 1% of its time, is spent in actual use, the other 99% of the time, its on display! That’s why good design makes the difference on the shelves of Target and other such places. Its becoming more and more about form and not just function.

While I wouldn’t recommend one develop his theology from this book, I would recommend this book as a fascinating read read on current culture and where it is going in the near future. It’s also very intersting to see how this theory will play into our ministry of creative arts as we pursue the challenging task of creating and producing artistic and creative works for the Church and the body of Christ.

If your interested, you can find the book A Whole New Mind on Amazon A Whole New Mind: Moving from the Information Age to the Conceptual Age

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New Supporters!

Its been a good week here, as we just picked up some new supporters. We are blessed to have Matt and Dawn on our financial support team. Matt has been a good friend of mine for many years now after we met in college. Matt and I had considered many different ministry paths over the years, so he was encouraged to hear about our ministry.

This puts us at about 15% as of July 17th. We have met with a few others over the last week and they are praying about how they might be a part of this ministry as well. The encouraging thing is, that everyone we have talked to thus far has been very excited about this ministry and they see great potential. We are excited as well, and are working hard to get everything together.

Last week, I (Chad) was able to complete our portfolio for the ministry and today I took a jaunt down to the neighborhood Kinko’s to print out a sample. We will be mailing these portfolios to our current supporters and those that we meet with so they can have a written account of what our ministry is all about.

If you are interested in reading this portfolio, please visit our About page and view the PDF titled Creative Arts Ministry Portfolio

Please continue to pray for us as there is much to do, and it never seems like there is enough time in the day to get it all done. Pray also for focus, some days are harder than others to stay motivated and not allow ourselves to get distracted with things of low priority. Im sure you can all relate 😉

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Talk about living in a small world. If you read our last post, you’ll remember us talking about Rick Mumford and how I knew him back in the day… pre-Paris Rick.

So on Sunday, we visit our very close and dear friends Kevin and Kristie Harsha for a scrumptuos afternoon meal on the grill. The three B’s… Burgers, Brauts, and Beans! (Kevin makes the meanest mess of BBQ beans this side of the Mississippi).

I shared with them my fun and inspiring conversation about talking with this youth pastor artist from Lawrence who went to Paris for ministry. So Kristie (Langemeier) chimes in and says, “Oh, you mean Rick Mumford, yeah I went to college with Rico and Amy. There’s not too many youth pastors from Lawrence that go over to Paris. He is an awesome guy and an outstanding artist.”

“Wow!’, I said, ‘your kidding, imagine the odds on that. what a small world indeed. We all need to go down there and give him a visit, and maybe eat at our favorite restaraunt.. Zen Zero.” Man… talk about good food, if you are ever in Lawrence and are in the mood for some Pan Asian cookin’ head on over to Zen Zero on Mass street. The best food in town….. but I digress….

Only God can orchestrate friendships like that, and it’s fascinating to see how He weaves our friendships through time and place. Rico… if your reading this, we’re all coming down to see you… that is, as soon as you have an opening in your schedule 😉

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Back in the Day

I had an interesting and fun conversation with an old friend yesterday. It’s funny how the Lord brings people to mind when you least expect it.

For the last couple of weeks, there was one person that kept coming to mind periodically. Someone I worked with in ministry back in the summer of ’98 when I was in Lawrence, KS. A very gifted youth worker and an all around stand up kind of guy. I also remembered that he was a cartoon artist, at least from what I remember, and that he was about ready to head off to Paris for a new adventure in minstry.

It finally clicked with me the other day that, “Duh…. Rick went to France in ministry, your going to France in ministry…. why not give him a call?”

So, yesterday, I tried to look up Rick Mumford, the youth pastor at Grace EPC in Lawrence at that time, and in less than 2.2 seconds (according to google anyway), Ricks name popped up as the number one listing. Interesting.

I read the article listed. It was an interview with Rick about his experience from youth ministry in Lawrence, packing it all up, and heading overseas to Paris, France. you can read the article here… a very interesting read indeed.

A little more googeling, (is that a word?) and I found Ricks contact info through Young Life, as he is now the Area Director for Young Life in Douglas County… that is, back in good ol’ Lawrence, KS.

So I call Rick up and say something like “hey man, long time no see” (abbreviated version). I tell him that we’re headed to France as part of a creative arts ministry and he asks if I know a Jim Beise. I replied, well… I know of a ministry called La Fonderie in Paris. “That’s his ministry!” Rick replies with an excited tone. “He’s a good friend of mine and you really need to get in touch with Jim so you can have some connections when you get there.”

It’s interesting how small this world seems at times. When you know someone from way back and you start talking and realize you have some of the same connections. Its been almost ten years since I worked with Rick in Lawrence. Interesting.

I think the Lord is doing something very mighty… and very cool in France with the arts ministry. I look forward to seeing what else He brings along our path.

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Voila!
As we start this new journal, we want to thank all of those who have already committed to supporting us financially and through prayer. We are so very thankful to have you on our team.

We are excited to say that we are currently at 10% of our goal. Having just begun this stage of our journey in early June, it’s very encouraging to already have reached the 10% mark.

We also want to encourage you to check in with us regularly by visiting our blog Voila! We plan to continue to add updates, stories, French facts, photos, videos, and prayer requests. It will start small as this meager post will reflect, but we look forward to building this blog into a real tool for us to keep you up to date with our progress.

We want to keep it light and fun, so most of our posts we will try to keep concise and to the point. If you have specific questions or thoughts, feel free to email or call us as we would love to hear from you.

Of course you can always add your comments to each post if you like.

Thanks for joining with us and following us on this exciting journey!

Sincerely,
Chad & Traci Jackson
Chad & Traci

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