Friday, May 7, 2010

I've Moved

Hey friends i have moved over to Word Press. Come check me out there and follow me!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Every Person has a story

Last night I went out with a group of friends to one of my favorite local spots. We sat and talked and enjoyed each other for a few hours. The question was raised, "take a look around the room, what do you see when you look at the people? What do you think they are here for?" I scanned the room and noticed everyone but one person was there with someone and that one person, she looked sad.

As I looked around the room I was once again struck by the fact that every person has a story. EVERY person has both a story being lived as well as a story to tell. Not one of us is simply made up of a random set of disconnect events not worth being told.

There are stories behind every register, found in every waiter or waitress, being lived by the person in the car next to or behind or in front of us in our cars. There are stories being told by the people we love, the people we struggle to like and the people we don't know. There is not a person on earth who does not have or live a story.

Each story is filled with events that cause actions or reactions. The way that each of us participate in conversation or groups, our ability to connect or not connect intimately with people is partly a result of the story we've lived up to that point. Each person's story affects the way each person lives.

As I desire to get to know people and walk with them in life I have learned that not everyone knows how to tell their story and not everyone is living the story they wish they were living. It amazes me how many of us wished we had the story of so and so, judging that person's story only by the outside by how we feel on the inside. We see the cover of someone else's story and we say, "Oh! that's the story I want!!!" and go out never reading the pages of the book to tell us of the difficulty, challenges, moments of beauty and moments of pain from which the book cover came.

I've also learned that we like to ask questions that only tell the timeline of the story. What I did yesterday. What I will do this weekend. How I will spend my summer. We struggle to ask the questions that give the meat of the story. What was the highlight of your day yesterday? What made it so. What are you thinking about these days? What are you passionate about? What do you dream of? Where is there struggle in your story? Where is there cause to celebrate? These questions open up the story of person to telling us a story of how past and present collide in today, revealing the heart of a person.

Learning each other's stories is crucial as we build into one another. I'd say even as we have a desire for others to know Jesus. If Jesus is woven into the fabric of my story, He will be seen and heard of as I share my story with others. It is a natural part of conversation. If I want someone to know why I'm in a bad mood rather than simply just to be affected by my bad mood, then I get to share my story with them. It might alter relationships in the process.
Telling my story and asking others to tell me theirs opens up doors to relationships that have truly enriched my life. You'll find many of these stories written in my blog.

What is your story?

This week take a chance and see how many stories you can hear. For one week, see each person as a story teller and ask him/her questions to get their story out. Let's say you go to the grocery store, you have a person in front of you with a name tag. Use the name on the tag and ask him/her a question like, "What is the best thing that has happened to you today?" You can try this out with bank tellers, waitresses, co-workers, neighbors. Just start asking questions and see what happens.

I'd love to hear what the result is as you begin to hear the stories of others. Leave a comment below that shares how it all worked out, so we can learn from your story!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The 11:29 Project FAQ

It has been nearly 3 full years since the dream of the 11:29 Project came to life. For those who have asked what exactly is this project, here is a brief description. If you'd like to know more. Feel free to email me or find me on facebook and I'll send you all kinds of fun information! Enjoy

What is the vision and mission of The 11:29 Project?

The 11:29 Project was formed by Cari Jenkins out of a desire to see individuals and groups find true rest in Jesus. By true rest, we don't just mean that people will no longer be tired, but that people will be set free to walk in the way of Jesus, allowing all of who they are to rest in all of who HE is. True rest changes lives. Our mission statement is: The 11:29 Project is a ministry of availability and encouragement that creates spaces of rest and restoration for individuals and advocates for the marginalized globally.

The name of the 11:29 Project comes from Matthew 11:29: "take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." The Message paraphrase says it like this: "Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me-watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

What you follow forms you...

Have you ever noticed the things you follow are the things that form you?

I started running in November. This is a big feat for someone who is 35 and the last time I ran was, well, the mile in the 8th grade. When I decided I wanted to pick up this new hobby, I knew I needed to learn from someone on how to train well. There is a lot of information out there on the BEST training programs out there! I'm amazed that there are so many secrets to a successful training program.

I decided to pick a program to follow that met me right where I was and could guide me to what could be. So I began running. I started out running in 30 second increments and now am up to a five minute run/1 minute walk pattern for up to 20 miles! Fairly amazing.

In life we become formed by what we follow. I've become formed by the program I followed. It came with a certain methodology that I've not only applied to running, but to many other areas of life. I've been formed by a marathon training program.

Sometimes we are formed by the people we follow, the books we read, the genres in which we pour into. Have you noticed that you can pick out the guy who follows Fox news fairly easily from the guy who follows NPR? Have you noticed you can pick out the girl who spends her time reading Cosmo from the girl who reads National Geographic?

It is important to pay attention to the things we follow.

Jesus, understood that by following people would become. So when he invited people into his way he'd ask them to follow. One of the first places we read this in Mark takes place in Mark 1:16-20

16As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 17"Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men." 18At once they left their nets and followed him.

19When he had gone a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets.20Without delay he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him.

It is such a different invitation. It seems a bit backwards. It wasn't necessarily a call to believe, although that invitation was given in verse 15. It was an invitation to follow.

What a difference in perspective. The onus of being made into something new is on Jesus as we follow after Him. It is not on us! We become representative of that which we follow.

What are you following?

What does your life communicate about what or whom you follow?

As you seek to follow Jesus what do you find yourself being made into? Do you look more like the one you follow?

Monday, May 3, 2010

A story worth telling

Some friends of mine are amazing story tellers. They use a camera, a video camera and lots of storyboarding to tell the stories of children from around the world. They advocate for children by telling their stories.

When the earthquake shook Haiti and buildings came crashing down and lives were taken. It was a horrific event. This group was there as quickly as possible. They had been to Haiti before shooting some footage for an orphanage called The Lighthouse. After the earthquake they were flown in to continue the story. They were joined by CNN new's correspondent Soledad O'Brien. It seems as though God wanted this story to be told.

They worked long hours and tirelessly filmed, interviewed and captured images all while the earth continued to shake, buildings continued to collapse and the entire country was in crisis.

This young film production company, Discover the Journey, has an amazing opportunity before them to tell the story of two young orphan children in Haiti, before and after the earthquake.
CNN will be showing the film on May 8th and 9th. If you are able to, turn your tv on and watch it! It will open your eyes to amazing things. Your heart to the stories of those around you and hopefully a life to respond in some way. As we each play a role today!

RESCUED: airs on CNN May 8th and 9th!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The best treasure you can find

Today I was at the beach with some friends. The temperature was perfect. The sky blue. The waves crashing and the tide just coming in. It was in fact a perfect day.
Perez, my 7 year old friend and I went for a walk along the beach. We like to do this. We look for cool stuff and we tell stories. We step on kelp bubbles (or pods) and make them pop. We climb on rocks and read other people's messages written in the sand. I love it!
Today we were climbing on some rocks when I noticed some kids playing in a tide pool. So I said, "Perez look! Let's go see what they've found." There were about 6 or 7 kids in the water, several parents lining the water telling the kids to look under this rock or giving them hints on how to catch a crab without actually once touching a crab themselves.
Soon I noticed the crowed of kids gathered playing together. They all worked together. They all shared a similar goal. They were all making strategies and coming up with grand ideas of what they could do with all the crabs they catch. At one point I looked up and there were about 10 kids and not one was of the same nationality. They didn't even speak the same languages.

I loved watching them. I loved seeing them laugh and play. They didn't care that they were all different. In fact, i think wondered if they noticed. They simply were of the human race and they loved every moment of it.

I sat next to a woman and she and I started talking. The kids modeled we followed suit.
At the end of our time. I asked Perez, "so what was the best treasure you found today." "The crabs!" he answered. I asked again, "what else did you find that was even better than a crab?" "New Friends!" he answered. "Yes, Perez, that is the best treasure of today! What a good hunt! What a great find!" We walked a way and Perez wrote something in the sand. i looked down and he was writing a message to his new friends. It read, Love Perez to Aaron.

He said to me, "Cari can I go tell his mom something." "Of course you can Perez." With that he ran back to Aaron's mom. He ran back to me and we started walking back to meet up with his mom.

As we walked back we saw Aaron and his mom walking over to the place in the sand where Perez had written him a message. Aaron's mom read it to him and he yelled to Perez, "thank you my new friend Perez!"

Oh the lessons we can learn from children!

I hope that on your daily treasure hunt that you will know that the one of the best treasures you can find is a really good friend! And I hope that you feel free to tell them that they are special to you and that you can be unashamedly bold in doing so.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

18 miles, a new perspective and a need

Today I had to run 18 miles. It seems daunting. In fact in the first three miles I nearly started to cry at the thought of having to do 15 more.

When I started this journey, training for a marathon I knew that it would be challenging. I knew it was going to be a bit overwhelming. And yet at the very same time I knew that I was going to be able to finish.

My perspective this morning was shotty at best. I was doing whatever I could to talk myself into finishing. My friend Cristy just kept going. I was able to keep going because she was with me. I ended up running a mile past 18.

It is amazing what happens when we are with someone.
This is true in relationship too. We work so much better together. We grow up wanting to be an individual and independent. We do what ever we can to make it on our own and that fact is celebrated.

As women, we sometimes strive to be so independent cause the idea that we would need someone or something could potentially become needy. But the reality is neediness is good. We were created to need. We were created to be incomplete in some way. Think about it. In Romans 12 Paul talks about the fact that we are one body but many members and each member plays a different part. We don't have every part! We need each other!

So next time you are feeling the need to be independent or you think you should be capable of everything, remember that's not how we were created. (We were created to share, walk together and give and receive from each other.) Then call a friend and ask them to join you, maybe you too could run nearly 20 miles.