May God bless me with discomfort at easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships so that I may live from deep within my heart.

May God bless me with anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of God’s creations so that I may work for justice, freedom, and peace.

May God bless me with tears to shed for those who suffer pain, rejection, hunger, and war, so that I may reach out my hand to comfort and to turn their pain into joy.

And may God bless each of us with just enough foolishness to believe that we can still make a difference in the world so that we can do what others claim cannot be done to bring justice and kindness to all our children and all our neighbors.

Sr. Ruth Fox

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Stop curating your life and and start living it.

I don’t have bedspreads aligned precisely and tucked neatly. They are warm and inviting.

I don’t have Pinterest-worthy photographs of my meals. They are eaten by mouths dripping with laughter.

I don’t have designer dresses and fashion tops. I am clothed in sunshine and happiness.

I don’t have a spotless house. My loved ones feel at home.

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I want the wooden floors of my home to have a well worn path to the outdoors.

I want the shelves to have a light layer of dust to prove I have better things to do than clean.

I want the chicken to burn a little when we laugh a lot and stop watching the pan.

I want my clothes to have a hole or tear here or there because I’m swimming in the sea not the department store.

I want beauty to shine in my pictures and smiles to light the way.

I want Truth to seep from the wrinkles in my sun-beaten face.

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Life isn’t meant to be perfectly curated.

Rather, to be filled with love and joy.

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We live in grey.

‘Cause grey is not a compromise –
It is the bridge between two sides.
The shores on which our stubborn land
And restless seas collide.
Grey is not just middle ground,
It is a truce that waits to be signed.
I would even argue that, from where we stand,
It most represents the color of God’s eyes.

—Sleeping at Last

Put down your weapons. Fight together with art.

More than once I’ve observed or been involved in the classic battle between a designer’s creative instincts and talents and the marketer’s guardianship of brand, strategy and goals.

I’m more than hands with Photoshop skills.
They’re crushing my ability to create with all these restrictions.
We’ve gone through 4 drafts and they finally like it, but it’s the worst it’s ever been.

He keeps doing things outside of our typical look, this won’t work for our audience.
She didn’t change the design how we talked about.
I just need it to work for our audience and he doesn’t get it.

This frustrates me for more than one reason, but the primary issue I see is this―designers and marketers fit together like musicians and producers, like models and photographers. Designers bring to life the visual communication marketers need to reach the right audiences with the right message, developing compelling pieces that at times exceed all dreamed of possibilities. Marketers give designers a creative outlet and purpose to work toward, enabling them to reach the world with their skill and craft at capacities not otherwise possible. Without each other they are staggeringly out of luck.

This reminds me of a quote I really been liking lately: “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” (Google tells me Aristotle said this. When in doubt always ask Google.)

This truth applies to more circumstances than we tend to acknowledge―designers and marketers being no exception. Together they can move more people, accomplish more good, topple more misconceptions, and color the world more beautifully than they can alone.

With a nod to the beautifully interdependent relationship designers and marketers now and will always inhabit, I propose an agreement of sorts.

I, the marketer, faithfully commit to honoring the creative instincts and skills of the designers I work with. When I hire a designer with the intention of creating a truly unique, compelling project, all my actions and behaviors will be guided by intentions to utilize the full capability of that designer to create the right visual message for my audience, free from any unnecessary constraints. I will not see the designer as mere “hands to guide,” but rather as an important part of the collaborative process. I will disclose any and all pertinent information to help guide the designer. When I give feedback it will be in the form of logical reasoning, motives and an invitation to collaborate for a better solution:  “I don’t think this will work for our audience because ________, so can we try ________, or maybe find another way? What do you suggest?” I promise to trust.

I, the designer, promise to honor the marketer’s considerable experience and history with the organization, brand, and audiences I am designing for. When I work on a project, I will give full credit to the marketer as an authority on the history and future of the organization my work represents and the needs of the audiences I hope to move. I will strive to ask the right questions―helping me understand the uncharted territory I am adventuring into, and using the marketer as my guide. I commit to bringing all my tools and creative capacity to the table, consistently striving to deliver visual communication that effectively accomplishes its purpose while moving the audience with my artistic vision. I will set guidelines up front that help guide the marketer and establish an atmosphere of open communication. I promise to trust.

Amen.

ACCOMPLISHED IWU ART PROFESSOR GOES BACK TO THE STUDIO FULL-TIME

Posted by Indiana Wesleyan University on Thu, Apr 19, 2012

by Lauren Rahman, IWU senior
Bill Goodman

Ceramics professor Bill Goodman has mixed emotions about retiring from his 34-year teaching career, which culminated in six years spent teaching ceramics in the IWU Division of Art.

“As you think about completing a career and retiring, it’s really different than actually doing it,” he said. “I’m not looking forward to the last couple days ‘cause I think it’s going to be sad.”

Goodman also knows that God has other things in store for him and his wife, Cheryl. “We encourage our students, as they go into art, to potentially have their own studios,” he said, “and I’d like to try that myself.”

Goodman and his wife will move back to Minnesota, where they have family. There, Goodman will open a ceramics studio—creating, displaying and selling his work to the public.

A pivotal personality in the Indiana Wesleyan University Division of Art, Goodman has spent his time at IWU shaping the students he worked with. Josh Martin, IWU senior and ceramics major, has spent his four years working closely with Professor Goodman.

“Goodman has become a friend to me and I am extremely blessed to have him as my professor these four years,” Martin says.

Martin says that Goodman has influenced him both as an artist and as a Christian. “He has modeled for me an incredibly humble and servant’s attitude in his teaching and personal mentorship.”

Goodman has been pleased with the level of dedication students in the art department demonstrate, especially the students he has worked with in ceramics courses. He said, “The ones majoring in ceramics have really done a great job and really have taken it, I think, to another level in terms of their careers.”

One of Goodman’s former students, Justin Schortgen, is currently pursuing his Master of Fine Arts degree at the University of Iowa, where he also serves as a teaching assistant. “I’m pretty excited for him,” Goodman said, adding that his time at IWU has been rewarding.

At IWU, students in ceramics classes are exposed to all aspects of the discipline, from glaze chemistry to building kilns. In Goodman’s seven years at IWU, he has led students in constructing seven different kilns, including a couple permanent ones which stand today in a shed outside of Beard Arts Center.

The art program is housed in both Beard Arts Center and Center Hall. Combined, these facilities hold space for 13 studios, three Mac labs, two photography wet labs, a frame and wood shop with spray booth, two lighting studios, offices for art faculty members, a lecture hall and two large galleries. Students are most likely to find Goodman in Center Hall’s sculpture studios and Beard’s two ceramic studios.

IWU’s Division of Art has been labeled the largest art department of any school in the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, with more than 276 students enrolled this past year.

As Goodman prepares to depart, a search committee, composed of art professors and faculty from two other departments, has been in the process of selecting another accomplished candidate to fill his position in IWU’s leading Division of Art.

 

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IWU RAMPS UP CHURCH PLANTING INITATIVES

Posted by Indiana Wesleyan University on Thu, Mar 29, 2012

by Lauren Rahman, IWU senior

L4C smallDuring the first full week of March, a group of 15 Indiana Wesleyan University students headed down to South Carolina to serve at two Wesleyan church plants.

Both churches are called Providence Wesleyan Church and are led by Rev. Wayne Otto, an IWU graduate, who has a daughter currently attending IWU. One of the two meets in Charleston, SC at Southern Wesleyan University and the other is in Summerville, SC.

Otto was part of planting six churches in Michigan before being called to move to Charleston in 2011 in order to plant a new network of Wesleyan churches. He and his wife, Amy, began Bible studies April 1st 2011 and officially launched the plants on September 9th.

The spring break project included prayer walks in the communities the churches are targeting. Students also handed out information on church activities and asked for prayer requests from individuals they spoke with. When they had opportunities, students would also pray with those they encountered.

Zak Hubbard, an IWU sophomore, says that canvasing the neighborhoods was one of his favorite parts of the trip. “Getting to talk to people in the community and see what spiritual needs they had and then praying for them truly brought me joy.”

IWU Freshman Autumn Gochenaur shares Hubbard’s enthusiasm. “The trip was amazing! I learned so much and gained so many new friendships. It really put me out of my comfort zone to canvas throughout the neighborhoods, but I really felt God working in all of our lives. It was so encouraging to see the passion that goes into a church plant, and I learned a lot about the beginning stages of planting a church.”

Hubbard says that, like many other students, he had a preconceived idea of what church planting looks like. “I went into the trip with the common perception of church planting and not really expecting a lot out of it,” he says, ‘But, the first day that thought just flew out the window.”

Hubbard says the Ottos made the experience great for each student and he looks forward to having another experience with church planting.

“The presence of such amazing college students at the inception of our church plant was and is worth more than I can possibly communicate,” says Otto. “I wish I could lure the entire team to come back and live for a year and help out with the plant.”

 

Reaching Different People

“This is a wonderful start but we have a lot more that we can do,” says Dr. Jim Lo, Dean of the Chapel at IWU. The trip to South Carolina is part of the IWU response to the Wesleyan Church’s movement towards church planting. According to Dr. Lo, the Indiana North District of The Wesleyan Church has committed to planting two new churches every year.

Dr. Lo shares, “I really believe that if we are going to reach the next generation for the church, it needs to be done in a creative way and contextualized for them. That is why we need church planting.”

Rev. Tom Cochran, the pastor of a church plant in Wabash, Indiana, says, “In upcoming years, I don’t see church looking like it does now. That’s not a slam on tradition, but we are asking really good questions now about how to contextualize the Gospel to fit the culture that we are going to plant in.”

Cochran is a 2004 graduate of IWU’s ministry program. He launched New Journey in February of 2010 with support from The River, a 2006 church plant in Marion, IN.

 

Student Involvement

DSC 0007Those involved in this trip are not the only students led into church-planting during their Spring Break. Robbie Corwin, IWU senior, spent most of his break visiting a church plant right outside Pittsburgh, PA. Pastor Rick Cox launched the church, called The Bridge, as a way of serving the culturally diverse community of Penn Hills, PA.

During his time there, Corwin committed to joining The Bridge after graduating this April.

Corwin shares, “I think a lot of people have realized that many, many established churches are building up walls and systems are keeping a lot of people out. Almost all the church plants I’ve had experiences with are all about breaking down those walls and going out into the community.”

Recent graduates like Corwin are invaluable for church plants.

Otto says, “To have solid believers that could help disciple, lead worship, handle administration, minister to teens and children, follow up on visitors and lead people to Jesus would be an amazing gift from God.”

It’s For Everyone

Dr. Lo believes that experiences are an important part of giving students a better understanding of the need, and their potential future involvement. He also believes that it’s important for adults in every profession to see their potential for ministry involvement.

“This whole church planting initiative should not only be for students, but it should be for everyone.” Dr. Lo believes that everyone should prayerfully consider how to be involved, including prayer support, financial support, and, if called, the willingness to go and serve.

 

For the original story visit: http://bit.ly/HVb6Om

The To-Don’t List: An IWU Senior’s Anti-New Year’s Resolutions

Posted by Indiana Wesleyan University on Fri, Feb 10, 2012

by Lauren Rahman, IWU senior

LaurenSince I try to avoid failure in all forms, I’ve always been a bit leery of New Year’s resolutions. It seems counterintuitive to start a new year by setting up unrealistic expectations.

Maybe I’m a pessimist, or maybe I’d rather enjoy my all-fat extra whip caramel macchiato and then spontaneously decide to go out for Thai food rather than catch up on daily journaling I said I would do. Either way, for my last semester at IWU, I decided to take a different approach and pick a few things I would not do.

These things I resolve to avoid at all costs:

I will not worry about the future

“What are you doing after graduation? Do you have plans? Do you have a job yet? Are you ready to graduate? After graduation, are you going to be poor and hide in the student center to sleep at night while preying on free drinks at McConn for sustenance?”

People are finding ever more creative and encouraging ways to ask me how my planning for the future is coming along. They do offer me good advice and leads: “I know a lady who works at that foundation and I can set something up for you.”

But by far the best advice I’ve received came from a professor: “Just tell them you have many opportunities and now you’re just trying to decide which one to take.”

I will not overcommit

It’s taken four years to perfect the skill, but I think I’ve got saying “no” down to a fine art. The learning curve has been long and the trial and error process of job and project elimination has been challenging. But this semester I’ve pared my schedule down to four classes, one job, two extracurricular projects and one leadership position. Even after throwing in a job search, I think this semester will be comparatively low-stress.

 I will not become an introvert

“Does he still go here or did he transfer out?” No, he’s still here, but he’s been sucked into a black hole that formed in the vicinity of his bedroom.

The fun of freshman year has faded, while the future of “real life” looms on the horizon, causing some seniors to hibernate, either in denial or lethargy. But it’s not over yet, so why pretend like it is? I vow to choose McConn over my bedroom, the climbing wall over the townhouses’ exercise room and a Saturday breakfast with friends over sleeping in.

I will not forget about friendships that developed freshman year

The last year at IWU, it’s easy to give a polite nod to the students you sat with in World Changers breakout group and keep walking. But unless I’m rushing to get to the Business Office before it closes, I’m going to stop and talk.

Instead of counting only the friends I’ve gained in the past couple years, I’m going to enjoy relationships with people I’ve known since that first awkward New Student Orientation rally. Just because my freshman year roommate and I went separate ways, living across campus from each other sophomore year, doesn’t mean we can’t stay in touch. Maybe next year we’ll live across the country from each other, but visit on our weekends off work.

I will not pull an all-nighter

Waning MoonIt was the week before finals, and I had a paper due — a big one. So I worked through the night in the Noggle study lounge even after my homework buddy for that night gave up and went to bed. I left that room after all 30 pages had been written and edited, just in time for my 7:50 class where I almost fell out of my chair while trying to keep my drooping eyelids open. I was a zombie for the rest of the week, until I curled into my bed that Friday after classes and hibernated until I no longer hated daylight.

In my entire time at IWU I’ve completed one all-nighter. That was enough. I decided it’s just not worth it.

I will not pursue a ring by spring

Some rumors have formed that IWU graduates who don’t have a significant other, an impending wedding or some combination of the two when they leave here either never get married or die by default shortly after graduation. I’d like to dispel those myths and fears. In reality, I’ve met quite a few IWU graduates who appear, at least on the surface, to be quite well-adjusted and happy individuals.

I’ve even heard some talk about something called an “individual life purpose apart from getting married.”

So this semester I’m going to forget about the “ring by spring” criteria for graduation. Another interesting fact I discovered this year is that the Records Office doesn’t require a wedding plan as part of your application for graduation.

I will not complain

Since chicken and waffle fries power half the academic thinking among the student body lately, it’s easy to be frustrated that Chick-fil-A ran out of Chick-fil-A sauce and can only offer Bar-B-Q, honey mustard, and ranch. So we gripe, forgetting that less than a year ago we didn’t even have chicken nuggets, waffle fries and the classic fried chicken sandwich with pickles—but we don’t like pickles on our sandwiches, so this is upsetting as well.

I will not wake up my roommate by pushing snooze on my alarm every five minutes

This may be the hardest item on this list to accomplish. I’m a little ambitious when I set my alarm the night before: I’m going to bed at 1. Oh, I can get up at six to do devotions and eat breakfast.

Last year I ruined the worship song “Hosanna” by setting it as my phone’s alarm tone. Now, all I can think of when I hear it in chapel is “Not now, I still have five more minutes.”

My roommate that year heard it five times every morning. I’ve lived with some saints, but everyone has a limit. I hope to finish this year with all my friendships intact.

I will not take my professors for granted

I don’t know any other school where professors regularly want to get coffee with students and write sparkling recommendation letters, but maybe I’m biased. From the first time I visited my sister here and enjoyed Wilbur Williams’ rendition of the Biblical character Job, it’s been clear that IWU professors are a special bunch in many ways. From Dr. Buck and Dr. Bounds to all the professors in the Business Division, I will take the time to glean knowledge from them before heading out to figure it out on my own.

McConnI will not run out of points before the semester is over

This probably would’ve been a better goal for last semester when I could’ve bought some Christmas gifts from McConn before heading home for break. “Does she drink coffee? Oh well, I’ll get her the green thermos. Who doesn’t need portable hot water?”

This semester, though, I will have points left over to splurge during finals week, to treat my family at graduation, and to buy myself a green thermos. So when I brew coffee wherever I end up this May, I can pretend like it came from McConn and only cost me points instead of “real money.”

When it’s time for “real life” and I look back on my last semester, I feel confident that I’ll be satisfied with how I spent my time. In my opinion, to-do lists are overrated and overused. I can tell you from experience, start making to-don’t lists and you’ll feel a lot better.

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IWU STUDENTS HOST CONFERENCE FOR BUSINESS AS MISSION MOVEMENT

Posted by Indiana Wesleyan University on Wed, Feb 08, 2012

by Lauren Rahman, VP of Public Relations for IWU Students for BAM 

bamThis past week, a group of Indiana Wesleyan University students hosted a conference to highlight one way that missions work is changing, and to help propel the movement forward.

Business as Mission (BAM) is a relatively new movement within the mission field, combining business and ministry goals to positively transform the world for God’s kingdom through successful for-profit business endeavors.

This method results in financial sustainability and affords access to countries otherwise closed to ministry. It also provides evangelism, discipleship, church planting, economic development and empowerment for the people it touches in cross-cultural settings both domestically and abroad.

“It’s important for students in all majors to understand that their skills can be used by God regardless of what career they are pursuing. You don’t have to go into full-time ministry to make a big impact for the kingdom,” says Josh Vire, VP of Networking for IWU Students for BAM.

In 2010, students launched a group under the IWU Division of Business called IWU Students for BAM. This group spent the past year planning and organizing the first-ever student-led and student-focused BAM conference, which took place February 2-4 at Indiana Wesleyan University’s residential campus in Marion.

“Students want to know more about how their skills and passions can be used for the Lord,” says Jacob Wheeler, president of IWU Students for BAM. “This is one way that we could educate and equip students, while helping them network with other students and BAM practitioners.”

The conference hosted almost 100 attendees from as far away as California, Texas, Florida and Louisiana. Students, BAM professionals and organizational representatives spent three days networking and learning together during meals, workshops and speaking events held in the Barnes Student Center.

Keynote speakers for the event included Dr. Neal Johnson, author of Business As Mission: A Comprehensive Guide to Theory and Practice, and Bill Moore, owner and CEO of PacMoore Products.

Workshop sessions were hosted by BAM professionals who have worked in a variety of cross-cultural settings.

During the conference’s closing session on Saturday morning, Dr. Johnson announced the establishment of the ISBM, International Society for Business as Mission. This new organization is being launched in an effort between students at Hope International University in Southern California where Dr. Johnson is Professor of Business and Management, and students at universities across the US, including Indiana Wesleyan University.

Jacob Wheeler will initially serve as President of the Board for the organization. Students at the conference were invited to join ISBM as they establish BAM groups on their campuses and pursue the Lord’s calling on their life and vocation.

The Next Steps Conference received widespread attention and coverage from organizations such as Regent University’s Center for Entrepreneurship, the Christian Community Development Association (CCDA)YWAM’s BAM initiative and theActon Institute, which provided free books for all attendees and sent Chris Robertson, Program Outreach Coordinator, whoblogged about the conference.

“I hope that the conference and whatever else myself and the leadership have done will encourage others to do something even better,” shares Wheeler. “We have not set a bar but rather a stepping stone.”

“My prayer is that the connections made at the conference will have kingdom impact and we will see the fruits from those connections made years from now.”

About the conference, David Tori, VP of Marketing for IWU Students for BAM, says, “I feel honored to have held the first student-led conference and blessed to have the opportunity to connect people’s passions with the Lord’s redemptive plan for the world.”

For the original blog post visit: http://bit.ly/zbH8IJ