by Lon on January 17, 2012

in creativity,future

Birds - staying in the same place

image via shatterboxx

It’s a profound thing to come to the realization that you don’t have to be where you are.

Getting to where you want to be may be a completely separate journey, but if you don’t allow yourself to dream of distant places, that’s all they’ll ever be.

You’re freer than you think.

Note – distant places may cost you everything – which is why so few of us will even dare to entertain the thought.

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The year that past

by Lon on January 4, 2012

in life,stories

fork in the road

My memory is dismal so it’s always important for me to reflect and write.

Life is short, but it can be incredibly broad. Some snippets of 2011:

Family rocked. We celebrated our eighth astonishing year of marriage and are raising two wonder-filled daughters.

My wife kicked it into high gear doing double duty as a teacher and photographer

Took over the house I was raised in, and all the work that comes along with it.

Worked at leading our faith community through transitions – new location, sudden death of a friend and leader, conflicts and daring new directions

Incorporated a company Humanity3 Inc.

Spoke in a range of spaces from high schools to church innovation collectives to social finance forums.

Dove into the (new-to-me) world of business and startups – went from basics, to bootcamps, to pitching to investors

Connected with an incredible amount of entrepeneurs who are also do amazing things in the city

Failed – everything from personal writing disciplines to a social media grant competition, to launching a product on schedule.

Won 3rd in Toronto’s startup weekend competition (reputate) & winner in the ClimateSpark social venture challenge. (also won an Touchpad & a Google galaxy nexus, but that’s just stuff)

Began becoming more vegetarian, more fully present, and more fascinated by life than ever before

I can’t wait to tackle everything that 2012 holds.

Create the future.

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Fully human

by Lon on December 5, 2011

in Christ,Hope,video

I wrote in the past on ‘what if Christians were human‘ – I love Marlon Hall’s take in the video on being human and imagination and what gives him hope today.

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Ending Church

by Lon on November 23, 2011

in Church planting,mission,stories

Church on Fire

The Church exists by mission as fire exists by burning – Emil Brunner

A while back my 3-year old daughter drew a picture on the whiteboard and turned to me exclaiming “Daddy look at my beautiful drawing!” I quickly said “Let’s go show mommy”, but before I could get her she wiped it away. I looked at her disappointed, and she looked at me puzzled.

Right then an epiphany occurred – For my daughter it didn’t need to last forever for all to see; it was perfectly fine that it was beautiful in it’s time.

At Mosaic (the faith community I help lead) beautiful stories have been created and some incredible people gather with us – but is our destiny simply to try and keep this up?

I’ve been imagining a magnificent commissioning service for our community – where we ordain, release and send every single person out. It’s easy to fall into thinking that this is the ‘closing’ of a church, but for me this would be the fulfillment of all that we’ve been working towards.

It wouldn’t be immediate, but by having an ‘end date’ it creates a fixed time-frame for us to be laser focused on what matters most – in terms of prayer, support, discipleship, resourcing, etc. I’m convinced there are churches everywhere that are filled with people who can’t give a good answer as to why they keep going, and going.

Sometimes I feel like we’re holding great people captive. We have people in our midst who have been wanting to go and birth something anew. We’ve got others who may want to participate in a differently structured church and could share what they’ve learned at Mosaic with other communities. Still others who may be feeling a bit disgruntled could move on with a sense of dignity. Releasing and commissioning one another could be one of the most thrilling things we do as a community.

I can see us re-configuring to being a missional network that informally equips and counsels while organizing occasional gatherings to share stories.

I wouldn’t recommend this to most churches. I think our faith community is uniquely positioned to be able to pull something like this off with grace, reverence, and love.

It’s His kingdom that endures forever, not every church organization.

If God would have Christ himself, the head of the church, sacrificed for the good of the world, is it possible that God might ask us, the body of Christ, to do the same?

Could God do even greater things through your community if you ceased to gather the way you currently do?


Rob Bell – Fit to Smash Ice

by Lon on November 11, 2011

in Uncategorized

rob bell - fit to smash ice tour

Rob Bell’s latest tour (since resigning from Mars Hill) kicked off in Toronto today. It’s hard to explain what happened – it was like he sewed together a collection of random stories he had been aching to tell – and somehow made it work.

I’d rather not give the stories away, but here’s some quick notes:

The title ‘fit to smash ice’ comes from a comment made of Joshua Slocum’s boat which he had rebuilt from scratch and sailed around the world.

Overarching theme (maybe): who are you and what are you doing here?

The end is often the beginning

We hold things so tightly we can’t receive

Failure is not final

We’re all in a larger stream of God’s redemptive activity

You only get the next step forward (lamp vs. flashlight)

Sabbath is a time where we are busy being (rather than doing)

And story after story of failure, humiliation, and feeling small

You can find plenty more Rob Bell material here.


When inspiration hits

by Lon on October 25, 2011

in art,creativity,future,video

original youtube link

No, this isn’t another post about how brilliant Steve Jobs is.

What I’m wondering is what’s it to you?

It’s inspiring to hear about being ‘the rebel’, ‘the round peg in the square hole’, and ‘seeing things differently’, but how many people actually do something about it?

It’s so easy to think that because we’ve consumed an idea, we’ve done something about it.

Whether your inspiration is Steve Jobs, MLK Jr., Gandhi or Jesus himself – Is living vicariously through someone, really living? Does clicking ‘like’ on the fan page, retweeting the quote, or flaunting the logos, actually honor the inspiration that came?

Sometimes inspiration wells up to the point you can’t help but respond; a whole new world lights up, and you don’t want to take your next breath until you’ve acted.

However, most often inspiration is a distant reverence. You resonate with it for a moment. And then a tiny sliver of an idea creeps up hinting that maybe your life has something to do with this.

The moment of conception makes all the difference. Too often we discard these seemingly loose threads, and move on to the next idea that tickles us.

Ideas can change the world, but they almost always begin incredibly fragile. They are so easily dismissed. Especially the most beautiful of ideas, resistance loves to bury those immediately.

Inspiration can go as quickly as it comes, but if you can wrestle it down for just a moment and honestly consider it – this could be the idea that is yours to bring to life.

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TEDxToronto video on our city

by Lon on September 23, 2011

in Toronto,video

TEDxToronto is on again right now with a great video highlighting the great city of Toronto.

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This is your life

by Lon on August 12, 2011

in creativity,Hope,life,Quotes

This is your life - Manifesto