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Results matching “edifitainment” from Strangely Dim

May 16, 2011

There's Good New . . . And There's Bad New

It's taken me five years to finally accept that I hate being new.

It's disappointing, really, because I've always considered myself a fan of all things new. I like to learn new things. I like to meet new people. I like to experience new places. I like to try new food. I like to buy new clothes. But somewhere along the way (about the time we moved from small-town Ohio to fast-paced suburban Chicago without the benefit of knowing or being known by anyone), I realized that consuming something new is not the same thing as being something new.

Consuming I enjoy.  Being . . . not so much.

For the last week I've written and rewritten this, my inaugural Strangely Dim post, anxious to come up with the right mix of intelligence and charm, profundity and wit, strangeness and dimness (and apparently edifitainment and sanctitainment) for which my counterparts have become well known. 

But in my quest to strike the perfect balance, I've been reminded once again of my first days in a new city and my first days here at IVP, and the angst, uncertainty and insecurity that comes with trying to find your place in an environment whose edges you're still trying to define.

So I'll say it again: I hate being new. The stress of it all, I've learned, can manifest itself in the oddest of ways -- one of which, for me, was a matter of logistics.

A little known fact about the inner trappings here at IVP: we have fourteen printers in eight different locations. When I started here a little less than a year ago, I'd pull up the list of printers on my screen and scroll over their names -- names like Production Printer, Production Color Printer, Production Color Copier, Production Color Printer Copier. Eventually I'd click on the one I thought made the most sense. Then I'd head out of my office only to wander the halls, unsure of which direction to turn or on which of the fourteen printers my paper would actually end up.

Go ahead, laugh if you must. But when you're new (no matter the context) and everything is new -- from procedures and systems to people and places to personalities and culture -- small things like not being able to find the printer (which has a document containing acronyms you can't interpret, for a meeting whose purpose about which you're unclear, with people whose names you don't know, in a culture whose nuances you haven't yet mastered) is enough to cause a breakdown of monumental proportions.

I've since learned that in business this is called "onboarding." If it were up to me, I'd skip the entire painstaking process.

Somewhere during my anxiety over writing this post and reliving the trauma of my onboarding, it dawned on me that since Easter, my fellow bloggers have been wisely nudging our hearts toward Pentecost. During a time of year in which my soul is musing more about Memorial Day plans, summer vacations and, well, anything that might seep warmth into my cold Midwestern bones, the church recalls God unleashing his something new upon the church. That day wasn't so much about being new as it was being made new.

In the process, I've been reminded that while I really do--truly--hate being new, when I ingest the patience and humility and even grace uniquely present in this new experience, I'm reminded not to simply sit and wait for my confidence to return, but to thank God in every circumstance.  I hope I never forget how it feels to be the new person, but I also hope I'm increasingly aware (and even thankful) that even when I'm wandering the halls, trying to find my way, by God's grace I'm being made new.

Thanks to the Strangely Dim team for inviting me along. I'm excited to see what new things may come our way.

Posted by Suanne Camfield at 2:28 AM | view full entry

May 6, 2011

A Fresh Infusion of Strangeness

I believe the question has yet to be answered: How many blog contributors are too many? It's a tricky business: too few, and the content atrophies; too many, and the content changes too quickly, or worse, it loses its consistency, its cohesiveness.

I'm not worried about that here at Strangely Dim. We seem to have cemented our collective reputation for strangeness, if not dimness (although I may be ignoring some feedback); meanwhile, when it comes to mixing it up here, we seem to have plenty of room for more strangely dim thoughts in the mix.

Fortunately for us, IVP has a wide array of creative thinkers, willing to pour themselves out online for your amusement and edification (what I've elsewhere referred to, alternately, as "edifitainment[tm]" or "sanctitainment[tm]"). The latest to join our merry band, taking us from four to five, is Suanne Camfield.

One of our publicity managers, Suanne has also done quite a bit of writing of her own. Her writers collective, the Redbud Writers Guild, turned a lot of heads and generated a lot of buzz when they went live with the goal of "fearlessly expanding the feminine voice in our churches, communities and culture." You have to respect that kind of fearlessness. And be sure to check out Suanne off duty at her blog The Rough Cut. But while you're traipsing about, checking Suanne's bona fides, please don't forget us! Keep coming back for new posts from Suanne and all the rest of us.

Fearlessly expanding strangeness and dimness in our churches, communities and culture--and doing it all for you. You have to respect us for that.

Posted by Dave Zimmerman at 6:04 AM | view full entry

November 25, 2009

We Are Waiting for Christmas, Redux

By David A. Zimmerman

This time every year I start feeling quite thankful, thank you very much, for the authors I have the opportunity to work with. (You'll find the most recent ones listed here.) It's a pretty trippy life you're living when random people ask you if you think someone you've started to call a friend is a heretic, or when people casually mention how their life has been changed by reading a book written by an author you just had breakfast with. So as usual, this year I'm thankful for all sorts of things, but among them are the friends I've made while bringing their books to print.

One such friend is Kimberlee Conway Ireton, who recently invited me to wax geeky on her blog about one of my favorite books, and whose own book has been really instructive for me over the past couple of years in how I might tether my personal faith to the way the church navigates through each calendar year. For Christians, the new year starts this weekend with the first week of Advent. This time last year I posted the following excerpt from Kimberlee's book The Circle of Seasons; I post it again here for your edifitainment.



The coming of Christ into our midst requires that we rethink our desires and that we learn to hold them lightly, allowing the desire of God to supplant--or increase--our own desires.

If we were to observe Advent as the season of thoughtful reflection and repentance that it has traditionally been, we would have an opportunity to do just that: to rethink our priorities, to realign our lives with God's desires for us, to seek forgiveness and to start anew--the first Sunday of Advent, after all, marks the beginning of the church year. What better time to reflect, repent, receive forgiveness and so refresh our weary souls?

To spend the weeks before Christmas in this way would be radically countercultural, to be sure, but it would also serve to remind us that we are waiting for Christmas--and that the celebration of Christmas is worth waiting for.

The book goes on to offer really lovely experiential insights into the various seasons of the Christian calendar, from Christmas to Easter to Ordinary time, and all points in between. But for now it's a nice reminder at the end of a calendar year that the year of Emmanuel--God with us--is only just beginning.

Posted by Dave Zimmerman at 7:04 AM | view full entry