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Notes from Donald Miller…

April 28, 2009

donald-millerDonald Miller (Blue Like Jazz) spoke at a coffee house for emerging leaders after the worship session last evening.  His reflections centered around story.  Here are some notes.

Elements of a good story:

A character who wants something and is willing to overcome conflict to get it.

My life had become a series of random experiences.

I began to experiment with story.

The character of the character matters for the story to be good.

Screenwriters know this.  Example:  Rocky Balboa

The ambitions we have actually dictate the story.

We are designed to want things (not just in a material sense).

The point of every story is character transformation.

What do I want?  Because that will determine what my story will be about.

We live safe, meaningless lives when we settle for the dumb stories our culture pushes us into.  Stories about cars, clothes, homes…

You don’t have to win for the story to be great (i.e. Friday Night Lights movie).  You just have to give it your all…lay down your life.

The number one way we consume stories is not through books or movies…but through each other.  When we see someone living a story that is beautiful, good, and just…we are influenced to live in that way.

1.  What is the story you are currently telling (with your life)?

2.  What is the story that you want to tell?

One Comment leave one →
  1. May 3, 2009 3:23 pm

    This is something I was just thinking about as I listened to Frederica share the stories of the saints yesterday. The icons and saints have become special to her (and many others) because of the stories passed down about them. In some of the instances the saint, as any ordinary person, struggled with particular human temptations but overcame them. From Donald Miller’s explanations, this is probably what endears saints to the Church.

    What I was thinking about was that we read biographies of famous presidents or world leaders, we even follow the charades of modern, famous singers and movie stars and tell the stories of famous athletes, but what about famous early Christians . . . and I don’t mean the colonial missionaries . . . I mean those of the early centuries before the Reformation? Why don’t I know those stories like Frederica told them yesterday?

    I suspect I am not alone in that. My guess is that much of the Western or non-litergical churches do not know the stories of many of those saints. Why is that? Is it that we don’t pass down stories like we used to (we are not an oral culture)? Or is it because our culture does not esteem martyrs like some religions/cultures? As an Empire, perhaps martyrdom does not speak to us as it does in other cultures . . . maybe deep down we see it as barbaric???

    Like your notes here, Frederica ended by encouraging us to “keep adding to the pictures/chapters of Acts as if we have a chance to make our story meaningful . . . worth telling (will our chapter bring glory to Christ?)” Do we see the ordinary-ness of our lives as significant stories that pass on the faith? I wonder.

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