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Diversity Was God’s Idea to Begin With

Diversity and equality have been hot topics in the last decade of American life. We’re in the midst of various shifts in our culture surrounding these concepts, especially in relation to ethnicity and gender, and some of these shifts are good. When my family lived in southern California, we were ethnically not in the majority in our neighborhood, and we appreciated it greatly. Our church was home to people from dozens of ethnic backgrounds, and we loved that even more.

All of the tension between ethnicities as well as what we have termed the “battle of the sexes” is really our problem – it’s of human origin. What is of divine origin are the ideas of the beauty within diversity as well as the equality of all peoples whom God has created. Just peruse the first chapter of Genesis to see diversity on display.

Let the waters swarm with fish and other life. Let the skies be filled with birds of every kind… God made all sorts of wild animals, livestock, and small animals… So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

– Genesis 1:20, 25, 27 NLT

It was God’s intention that there be a veritable rainbow of sights to see in His wonderful creation. Did you know there are about 8.74 million species of animals and plants on earth? And inherent to the diversity with which God created all things are wrapped up two ideas we must hold in tension: unity and uniqueness. When we fail to value uniqueness, we esteem one ethnicity over another. And when we fail to value unity, we allow cultural wedges to divide us.

When it comes to the human race (there is only one “race” represented in many, many ethnicities), God made one particular distinction. We would be male, and we would be female. Gender is rooted in our pre-fall and pre-sin story. Men are men. Women are women. And there are three essential facts we often confuse and forget.

First, men and women are of equal worth and value to God. When we forget this, one gender tends to dominate the other in the culture. Second, women and men are designed to compliment each other, establishing the basis for marriage as one man and one woman in an equal partnership of mutual dependence. And finally, not all men are exactly like all other men, and not all women are exactly like other women. There is a vast diversity wired into our unique personalities and experiences.

Diversity and equality are God’s ideas. They are not the product of any particular cultural phenomenon, though we’ve certainly fought as a human race to rediscover them at various points along the way. Diversity and equality are rooted in the history of God’s handiwork and put on display for His glory. And what and awesome God He is proven to be by the canvas we see every day we spend on planet earth!

How to Start Getting Smarter

20140609-073502-27302160.jpgWant to be wiser? Fear God more. That’s where getting smarter starts. While the atheistic world asserts that more enlightened people no longer have room for claiming to know that there is a God, God’s opinion is the opposite.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.

– Proverbs 9:10 ESV

Knowing more about the world begins with knowing the God who created the world. Understanding the meaning of life begins with understanding the Author of life. Some people believe that belief in God excludes the possibility of embracing all that science discovers. Others believe that scientific enlightenment eliminates the possibility that the Bible can be right about God as Creator. I believe the wisest people are those begin with God, embrace science, and embrace the tension between the two in such a way that both are affirmed.

If you really want to be smarter, start here: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth…”

Who Invented Social Media? God Did.

The Creation of Adam

Michaelangelo understood the personal and relational nature of God’s initial acts of creation. photo: Wikimedia Commons

God invented social media. I know that might sound like a crazy claim, but I have a biblical basis for believing this. So I’m primarily speaking to those who believe with me that God is the creator presented to us in the biblical book of Genesis.

Social media seems like a new term. Many people are just hearing it, and many others are already tired of it. It’s a trend, a fad, something that people are jumping on quickly for reasons ranging from connecting to old friends to making millions of dollars. When I say it’s a fad, I am referring to the term”social media” not to the actual concept of it.

Let’s break it down this way. The word media really just refers to information. Facts. Things that are true, or at least things that are thought to be true. Social is a word we used to refer to interactions between human beings – otherwise known as relationships. Putting it together, social media simply refers to the sharing of information through relationships.

There was a time in history when the only way information was shared was by conversation between people. And even after information began to be written down, writings were still shared from person to person through real, human relationships. Even in the garden of Eden, god communicated directly with Adam and Eve in a family-like relationship. He told them what they needed to know (media) in a direct personal way (social). In other words, God invented social media.

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Why does that matter? Why is it so important to realize God is the inventor of this newfangled fad? I believe it matters because the church has struggled to adopt social media on the grounds that it is something new, something scary. We have actually come to believe that mass, impersonal media is the best way to share the story of God with other people. We see social media as an add-on, a toy, and something for teenagers to dabble in and grandparents to see pics of their grandkids.

But social media is more. Social media is where we came from. And it’s definitely where we’re heading, quickly. It is my passionate conviction that social media (as I’ve defined it above) has always been God’s preferred method for communicating truth about Himself that has driven me not only to engage in it heavily myself, but to write a book about it. Are there cautions? Of course, as there are with any other medium of communication. But the cautions shouldn’t stop us from engaging in the conversation that is happening with or without us, all around us.

John Piper once challenged a fellow Pastor to begin using Twitter in order to “fill every space with the glory of God, including the online space.” I’m with Piper. If you’re with me, share this post somewhere or connect with me. Also consider buying my new book, Rewired, which is all about how using today’s technology can bring you back to deeper relationships, real conversations, and powerful ways to share God’s love.

If you think I’m wrong, or crazy, or right, or dumb, or anywhere in between, tell me about it in the comments!

Good Idea. Now What? Charles Lee Helps Answer This Question

Our Creator designed us to be creative. And out of our inborn creativity come forth plenty of good ideas, but an idea is only as valuable as its successful implementation. In other words, brainstorming is good, but completing ideas is even better. Charles Lee, the founder of the Ideation Consultancy and many other brilliant ideas, helps leaders cross the finish line with well-developed good ideas.

Good Idea. Now What? By Charles LeeIn his new book, Good Idea. Now What?, Charles presents a guidebook that is very thorough, but also very readable. It’s a book for leaders, for thinkers, and for creators. It’s written in such a way that the reader can join in at any point, like a reference book. But it’s also a journey that can be followed on a pathway to creative growth. Here’s what Charles has to say about the book…

Going from inspiration to execution is hard work. Many steps stand between a good idea and the hit product, profitable company, or social change you envision. Your initial “aha!” moment provides the key to begin this process, but it’s the way you make your dream happen that truly defines your success.

Good Idea. Now What? gives you the tools you need to make your inspiration a reality. This accessible go-to guide features practical advice from leading idea-makers that will help you get your vision off the ground.

Personally, I’d recommend getting copies for your church staff, your creative arts team, and if you’re in business, for your leaders. Charles has had some pretty great ideas himself. He’s the creator of grassroots efforts including JustOnethe Idea CampIdeation Conference, and the Freeze Project as well as the co-founder of JustOne. Charles regularly speaks around the country on topics such as creative process, idea-making, innovation, branding, new media, and compassionate justice. And now, you can have his wisdom in print to refer back to when you need an expert’s insight.

Get Your Copy

A New Definition of YOU


You may not remember the musical group, The Turtles, but you probably remember one of their more famous songs. Do these words ring a bell?

Me and you and you and me
No matter how they toss the dice
It had to be
The only one for me is you
And you for me
So happy together

We live in a world in which there is plenty of emphasis on me… that is, on self. We talk plenty about self-image, self-respect, and self-worth. What is baffling, however, is how little we can understand about ourselves without understanding our Creator and His intentions for us, and yet how little we involve Him in defining us.

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