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Thoughts On Art…

It occurred to me over the course of this term that I tend to hold myself back artistically. I like to compare myself to other people, and as long as I’m doing as well as everyone else, I feel like I’m doing well. But what I realized is that measuring myself according to other people only works as long as there are people to compare to, and once I’m out of school I really won’t have that luxury anymore. So what’s going to keep me doing art once I graduate?

I suppose what I’m trying to say is that for a really long time I’ve been operating as an artist without any passion. I’m writing, acting, composing, singing, or whatever simply because I can, and I assume that as long as I’m “doing a good job,” I’m doing okay.

But the truth is–and I got this listening to my writing teachers–that the best reason to do art is because you love it. You have to love it…you have to love the creative process. That’s probably self-evident to most people, but it was a rather profound discovery for me.

“Do your best at art because the art deserves it. If you truly love your particular art and truly respect its power and beauty, do it justice.”

That’s what I’m so bad at doing. I figure as long as my art is good enough that no one will think it sucks, I must be doing a good job. I guess, in the end, passion is a much more satisfying reason to be an artist, because it frees me from being dependent on other people’s approval for success.

Ultimately, it seems to me that the most powerful reason for doing art is that it satisfies some deep, personal need within me. If I’m not driven to the writing pad or the piano or the stage by something powerful and spiritual, I’ll never really enjoy art, and I’ll certainly never create anything meaningful.

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Posted in: art

Breaking the Ice

I couldn’t think of anything exceptionally profound to write about today, so I thought I’d just say hello :)

I grew up in Bend, but I’m currently a theater student at Portland State University. Ken has been an essential friend and mentor to me ever since he moved to Bend, so I’m looking forward to guest authoring on his blog and conversing with you.

Happy November 29th ;)

Ben

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Posted in: Antioch

Guest Contributor’s

Bags are getting packed and I’m off in the morning to Uganda.

I’ve asked my friends Ben Larson and Rick Gerhardt to be “Guest Contributor’s” to the blog while I’m gone. They’re two of the most interesting and well written individuals I know!!

Tamara also has author rights…

So enjoy all their thoughts and writings, which will certainly be more interesting than the stuff I come up with!!!

Be back in 15 days…

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Posted in: Uganda

Ministry

We had a great staff meeting this morning and one of the phrases that came out really struck me.

The comment was that the staff are the chief servants. We choose to give all that we can and wear ourselves thin. Weather the word “chief” fits or not (there are tons of servants at Antioch) the truth is that ministry can be exhausting.

I’m reminded of the woman who touched Jesus’ robe and Jesus “felt the power leave him.” Whether its a great application of that text or not, I still think of that image when analyzing ministry… it can be draining.

The question then is, “Why would people pour themselves out that much?” That’s what got me excited… Our staff wouldn’t be doing what they’re doing unless they were committed to the vision of the church and to being used by God to minister to others.

The fact that staff is often exhausted, and that they are still here and still gladly pouring themselves out, is proof that they are servants… great in God’s eyes… and worthy of honor.

So the point… I guess that I’m just glad to have people I respect and call “friends” working on the team.

Christmas Tree

Our friends Evan and Lyndsey came over last night and helped us and the girls get our Christmas Tree up.

In case you didn’t know, my friend Jon Lemke at Antioch set up a Christmas Tree lot in his side yard… if you still need a tree make sure you find him!!


Typhoid

So I found out today that I am four days behind on taking the typhoid fever pills before I leave Thursday for Uganda. Not fun.

I asked the pharmacist what I could do and her response was simply, “Pray you don’t get typhoid.” Encouraging…

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Posted in: Uganda

Disneyland

Yesterday was the first time it was Mary Joy’s birthday on Thanksgiving Day since the day she was born (a neat story for another time!!)

We celebrated by eating on Wednesday night and going to Disneyland yesterday. We thought we were pretty smart, but it turns out that half of California goes to Disneyland on Thanksgiving :)

Anyway, Esther just made the 40″ height requirement so we all ran from one ride to another… I think it was the best day of her life!!


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Posted in: Family, vacations

Church Planting Thoughts

So I started thinking on the road down to California what lessons I’ve learned since we planted Antioch a little over a year ago.

The question has been banging around in my head ever since…

Here are my thoughts as they stand right now (I’m certain I’d change something if I kept thinking about it, but I want to focus on the Turkey and the Dallas Cowboys this Thursday instead of church planting lessons :)

1. Prayer Matters

I hate talking about prayer sometimes because it can sound very cliche. The truth, however, is that Antioch from start to finish has been about prayer. The good things that have happened stemmed from prayer or answers to prayer and the bad things that have happened stemmed from my thinking that I know what I’m doing.

There is nothing more significant to me in the last year than my deep realization that when it comes to God’s church… prayer matters.

2. Leadership Matters

I’m learning more as I read through scripture that when God wants to move in this world he does it through people… ordinary men and women.

These people lead.

They are sometimes assertive by nature and sometimes passive yet with a willingness to respond to God’s call. They are sometimes bold and sometimes timid. They are sometimes project people and sometimes people people. They are many different things… but they are all God’s leaders. Without these people nothing would happen.

In looking back at Antioch over the last year it is becoming clear to me that everything happens because of the leadership and service of a couple dozen people. Without these people nothing would happen.

A prime example is the recent college that was given to Antioch… without Lindsey Taft and Sheryl Bryant it would have been enough to swamp us, but with them it is slowly turning into a wonderful bright spot with exciting possibilities.

3. Selfless People Matter

Church ought to be a movement away from self and toward community. So it is no wonder that church and community grow and develop most through the work of selfless men and women.

I don’t know how to make a person selfless, but I do know that they are invaluable.

(Long live the set up team and the children’s workers!!!!)

4. Creativity Matters

We have been on a journey to rethink church since before we started Antioch. Our compass has always been the New Testament church, the teaching of Jesus and the four commitments that we have: Christ Centered, Authentic Spirituality, Inclusive Community and Missional.

The creativity, ingenuity, innovation and fresh thinking have become what Antioch symbolizes to me. With this it is fun and meaningful. Without it I feel that it would be mechanical, routine and stale.

As I look forward to what is to come, I get excited because I believe in Antioch, I believe in the creative spirit and talent at our church and I truly believe that there are fresh and amazing adventures on the horizon… because at Antioch, creativity matters!!

5. Mission Matters

We just finished a three week series on Human Rights. The in depth look at Compassion and Advocacy has reminded me that church doesn’t exist exclusively for us. Church is a highly effective tool that God uses to reach people in this world and love them spiritually, emotionally AND physically.

I am absolutely committed to making a difference in this world with the life that God has given me… and I know of no better reason to get out of bed on a Sunday morning than that!

Mission matters… for without it, the church would simply be providing entertainment.

Lastly, I began thinking that Antioch matters. If for no other reason, it is the stimulus that I have needed to keep running after, trusting and depending on God.

Tooth

I sat down to write something meaningful, but the only thing that I can come up with is that Mary Joy (my firstborn daughter) lost her very first tooth today. She’s more proud of it than anything I’ve seen before.

It wasn’t the kind of thing I was thinking about writing, but maybe it’s something meaningful!!

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Posted in: Family

Made It!!

2 days of driving…
1 night in a Best Western with a funky smell…
1 In N Out burger…
20,000 potty breaks with 4 girls…
and we’re now in Pasadena for a little Thanksgiving rest and relaxation :)

Loved it…

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Posted in: movies

Garage Sale Lessons

We had a garage sale to help raise funds for Uganda today… below are the lessons that I learned.

#1 Don’t have a garage sale in Bend during November
#2 Don’t have a garage sale in Bend during November
#3 See the first two lessons…

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Posted in: Antioch, Uganda

KTVZ

Dave Rogers of Ransom Wear will be spotlighted on the FOX evening news tonight in Bend during the 5:00 and 6:00 news hours.

KTVZ was put on to Dave and Ransom Wear through a person at Antioch.

I’m beginning to be amazed at how many domino’s seem to be falling all around!!

Esther’s Surgery

Our middle daughter Esther had abdominal surgery this morning.

There were a lot of emotions that went through my head as we talked to Esther before surgery, as we waited in the waiting room during her surgery and then as we tried to comfort her after the surgery.

Here’s the main emotion… I’m glad that we live in a country with clean hosptials, reliable doctors and overall quality medical care. It seems simple, but when one of the most important people in your life is in the care of doctors… medicine becomes a pretty big deal.

I think I’ve taken it way too for granted…

3 Weeks

It’s 3 weeks from today till I head to Uganda… can’t wait :)

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Posted in: Uganda

Letting Go of the Past

I had a long talk with a very good friend today.

She’s not only good as in “a close friend”… she’s also good as in “wise” and “mature”.

Anyway, there were several points in the conversation where I was talking about things, people and places from where I used to live. She knows those things, people and places. And she called me on my attitude several times over.

It’s funny, as I get older and as I receive more criticism (believe it or not, there are critical people in churches)… I am getting better at accepting the things that are true.

My friend criticized me in the right way… the way that is gentle and holds a mirror to yourself so that you can see the truth.

I finally cut off the conversation and said, “I think you’re helping me realize that there are some things that I need to get over and some things that I need to forgive so that I can let go and move on.”

It’s funny how we have buttons that we don’t even know are there… We all have things that we need to “let go of” or forgive.

Today was a good reminder that we need to be open to hearing what is coming out of our mouths, that we need good friends and that there are plenty of people and things in our past that we need to forgive.

Love Portland

I really like this initiative that Imago Dei in Portland started to love their city…

Check out the link:

http://www.loveportland.org/

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Posted in: ministries

Unspeakable Video

Here’s the Human Rights Series Video from Sunday.

Messages from Antioch Church

Below you'll find Ken's latest messages at Antioch Church in Bend, OR. Searching for a specific video? Visit Antioch's Vimeo page to find more of Ken's messages and other videos from Antioch.

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