The Third Language

Christy Tennant serves as Director of Development and Public Relations for the International Arts Movement. She interviewed Mako about his thoughts on "The Third Language." First, some comments from Christy.

One of the things I love about working for International Arts Movement is that I get face time with our founder, Makoto Fujimura, regularly. What a treat it is for me to sit with this inspiring individual, discussing deep issues, wrestling with the things that are difficult to get my mind around, and gleaning insights about beauty and the gospel. In many ways, and I know I’m not the first to say this, Mako is teaching me “how to see” – art, the Bible, Jesus, and the world around me.

At IAM, we talk a lot about something Mako refers to as a “third language.” This refers to a way of talking about things – culturally, politically, sociologically, internationally – in a manner that seeks to unite, rather than divide. Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers,” so our desire to be unifiers in a disparate world flows from looking at the world through the lens of the gospel. If it matters to Jesus that we work toward making peace with our fellow man, then it must matter to us too.

Davidson Wildcats: An Easter Resurrection

No one predicted it.  No one anticipated it.   Even after it was accomplished, many still couldn’t believe it.  Tiny Davidson College upset mighty Georgetown University in the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament, 74-70.    The headlines played off the biblical story of David versus Goliath.  Surely, Davidson’s leading scorer, Stephen Curry favored David’s slight build and tender age compared to Georgetown’s 7-foot-2 giant Roy Huggins.   Curry poured in 30 points, while Huggins managed only 6.   This was a triumph for undersized, underdogs everywhere.  

What a sweet victory for my dear old alma mater. John Marks and I roomed together at Davidson College in 1982. Our documentary, PURPLE STATE OF MIND, began during conversations in Belk Dorm. We revisited our college years at the same time that Davidson was surfacing on a national stage. The Wildcats first round victory over Gonzaga was a mild upset–the first NCAA win for Davidson’s accomplished coach Bob McKillop. How satisfying to see our modest college compete and win in the NCAA basketball tourament. A school known for academics took a rare bow in athletics.

The Bridge: What is it?

I’m excited! Being excited over things isn’t so unusual for me, but this time I am really excited!

I get excited over making it home in time to watch my favorite tv shows, or eating avocado’s and drinking lemonade on a warm day. Like I said, it doesn’t take much.

But something is different this time. I’m excited over something that I believe has eternal benefits and joys. Something that will bring together the way things were suppose to be with the way things will once again be.

October 2007 I woke up in the night with an idea. This idea was inspired by events taking place in the lives of a handful of friends of mine who are all spread out in various geographical locations, even stretching into the eastern hemisphere. Every one of these friends who came to mind that fall morning, have one thing in common; they are all faithfully obeying the 4 great commission messages found in Matthew 28:16-20, Mark 16:15-16, Luke 24:45-49 and John 20:21 as they serve the poor and the needy in our world.
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Three Reasons the Republican Party Might Survive November

Let me repeat what I have often said: if the Democrat Party cannot win this November, it will implode. They should win, and still have to be considered the heavy favorites, but if they fight all summer (no nominee until the Convention), they just might lose.

Polling is bad right now for Democrats when it should be at its nadir for the incumbent party, the Republicans.

At the moment, the Democrats have bad economic news, a War with mixed support at best, and an eager base. McCain should be Ford, getting clobbered early and hoping to come back against the unknown Carter. Instead he has a small but steady lead in most polls. Of course, the Democrats will get a bounce when they unite, but they have blown a chance to finish McCain off and win an easy race.

If they cannot win now, the Democrat Party will need more than superficial fixes. It may have to start over.

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Tags | Politics

The (Absurd) Power of a Euphemism

If there were a competition for which industry depended the most on euphemisms for its survival, I guarantee that education would win. Educators can’t live without euphemisms—not because they deal with fragile children, but because they deal with perfectly sturdy children’s fragile parents.

I discovered a hilarious option on the table for British educators. Apparently last year a group of teachers wanted to vote on a new grade classification that would replace F’s on the report card. Get this—the newly proposed label will be called deferred success.  That’s right. I suppose that for these children, success is coming. No, they’re not quite there yet. But it’s coming, mind you. They didn’t really fail, you see. But their success is . . . well, deferred for now.

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This Is Me

The Facts:

My name is Lisa Borden and I live in Tanzania, East Africa.

I carry a U.S. passport, though TZ is my 6th country of residence. I lived in Sweden and England as a child and when I was 12 we moved back to the States. LA, to be exact. When I was 22 I moved to Kenya, East Africa, with my best friend who is my husband. We lived there for the better part of 15 years, spending a good chunk of that time in a remote range of hills called Loita. We were among the Maasai people and we were 4+ hours of hard off-roading from the nearest phone line or paved road or post office. It was amazing.

One day, in 2000, we moved to Europe. We loved Africa and our life there, but it was time for a change. We settled in for a wild ride of 7 years on "The Lost Continent" and were pushed and challenged and grown in many ways. It was rich and we cherish that season.

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Easter and Cold Kids

Here is a quick little update....Remember, you can click on "continue reading" to see the rest of the pictures and post.

-Kim is judging an English Olympics for the teachers in Erdenet right now where she has to listen to the teachers give speeches in English and grade essays that they write.  The Mongolians love competitions and medals and nearly everything leads to those ends.  Seriously.  

-My classes told me that they wanted to sing - Mongolians love to sing too - and that they wanted to learn "She'll Be Comin' Around the Mountain"...which made my stomach turn so I thought I'd be bold and teach them the Jackson 5's "ABC".  Well, that was only slightly a failure.  They got the choruses down.  My goal is to get it on video.  

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Watching Television in Jerusalem

And here I thought it was going to be so easy.

I just went to Israel, and I fully expected to go on a 10-day tv fast while I was there. I mean, after all, I was going to be in the land of Abraham, David, and Jesus—how in the world would I find time to watch tv?

I started off well enough. We were staying at a kibbutz in northern Israel the first part of the trip, and the tv in our room was broken. Thank you, kibbutz! No tv—not a problem.

Then we went to Jerusalem, where our tv did work. Alas! And yes, I did turn it on. But in my defense, it was after a day of traipsing through the ruins at Qumran, hiking up to the waterfalls at En Gedi, and journeying to Masada. By the time I got to my hotel room that evening, I was completely exhausted and rather sunburned.

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Resurrection Psalm

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is so many things: a time/space event that altered the cosmos; the ultimate proof of God's power over sin and death; the thin yet consumately powerful thread that gives the Christian faith its meaning and hope. The resurrection is all of these and more: so massive, so magnificent, so utterly marvelous. Yet is is also very personal, something that we can all embrace with wonder and thanksgiving.

I've been participating in a study of the Psalms over the last couple of months, and this week I came across Psalm 16, appropriately classified as a Resurrection Psalm. I was drawn in by the majesty of the opening line: "Keep me safe, O God, for in you I take refuge." As the Psalm progressed, I found myself moved by the intimacy of its final four verses--

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Happy Good Friday

"Happy Good Friday" is not really something we say to each other.
Good Friday is appropriately celebrated with solemnity and reverence,
with churches draped in black cloths and filled with the hushed tones
of contemplation.

While listening to sermon yesterday a passage hit me with a whole new
appreciation of not only Good Friday but the cross itself.

"1Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of
witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that
so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked
out for us. 2Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of
our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning
its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
3Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you
will not grow weary and lose heart."
--Hebrews 12

The author of Hebrews spent chapter 11 laying out case after case of
Old Testament examples of God's faithfulness.  Men acted in faith and
God proved Himself faithful time after time.  And so here in chapter
12 the author asks us, "Why, in full view of God's providence and
faithfulness throughout the Bible, throughout Church history, and
throughout our own lives do we allow not only sin to entangle us, but
why do we allow anything to hinder us from fully trusting Him and
running towards (and with) Him?"  I don't know about you but that's a
very convicting question for me.

What is the writer's answer?  To fix our eyes on Jesus, who in full
view of all of those same things, who being the author and fulfillment
of all of those promises, and for the JOY set before Him endured the

It's hard to imagine Jesus' steps towards calvary being steeped in joy.
"This step is for joy."
"This step is for joy."
"This nail is for joy."

We've been studying the fruits of the Spirit out here in Mongolia and
something I learned while studying them is that we need to see all of
those things when we look at the cross.  When we look at the cross we
have to see God's love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness,
faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  It is the culmination of
all of the promises He made to man from the beginning of time and it
is a promise and assurance to all of us.

So on Good Friday we have to ask ourselves, what was that joy that
drove Jesus to the cross?

As some would say, was it to give us health, wealth, prosperity, and
comfort?  Was it so we could deem it not entirely sufficient and add
to it works or not accept all of it and cling to shame?

Joy is never a solitary affair.  You have joy IN something.  You have
joy WITH someone.

I believe Jesus' joy in heading to and enduring the cross was knowing
that He was reconciling sinners who could not save themselves to a
holy God who loves them.  His joy was knowing that His death would
allow us, through His righteousness to know and enjoy God forever.
His joy was being the end and means of God's plan and purpose for
mankind; proving God faithful, loving, and sovereign so that in our
own lives we could fix our eyes on Jesus and not grow weary and lose

Happy Good Friday from Mongolia.

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