Wednesday, 30 September 2009

but I just don't want to...

Nearly two months ago, I had the privilege of speaking at Kings Church, Motherwell.

Following some recent musings on what the bible has to say about the heart, I spoke about that very topic.

I read Seth Godin recently when he spoke about "The Confusion". Interestingly, he was getting at a similar point to Mark Driscoll when he spoke about wisdom & the heart. We look at the surface, and really the truth behind what's happening is further upstream.

Here's what Godin said:

The external world is remarkably consistent, and yet we blame it for what's going on inside of us. People who think the world is going to end always manage to find a new thing that's going to cause it to end. People itching to be bummed out all day long will certainly find an external event that give their emotion some causal cover. The thinking happens long before the event that we blame the thinking on.

Products are remarkably similar, yet we use their marketing stories as an extension of our self-image and self-esteem. Should a new phone really make you that happy?

How often are we sold on the dream - the *perfect* holiday/house/device/music/art/person/animal/lamp/font/design/photograph/food/performance. These things are all valuable in their way, but cannot replace the deep desire of a renewed heart - to bring Glory to Jesus.

I think that's what I was trying to say when at KC. "whose Glory is it for anyway?

As an aside, I listened to Mark Driscoll while weeding in the garden - which is always a time when I have felt challenged & drawn to deeper things in God. There's something about pulling out weeds that speaks to me about refining, honing and clearing out the garbage that can so easily restrict the movement of my heart.

Do you buy the dream you are sold? Do you think our heart has anything to do with it?

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Who is this babyB character then?

When Jenny and I wanted to let our friends know that we were expecting a baby, I set up a blog using iWeb. It was a fairly handy way of letting the world know what was going on. I was kind of new to blogs and thought that a native application for creating & updating would be best. I realise now that this was not the wisest move on the planet.

However, you can imaging that I wanted to share with everyone once our wee girl was born. Beth Ann Weir. The announcement is here. That was 18 months ago. At the same time as we were adjusting life to being a family of three, I was learning more about the social (and sociological) nature of online interaction and reminded that "one it's online, it's always online.

One of the people that I've learned most from over the piece was Mitch Joel. Some time last year, his "significant other" (I can't find out if Mitch is married or not) delivered a baby. He doesn't really talk about the baby - at first I found this really odd. Especially when one of his co-participants (and another person sharing great ideas on new media), CC-Chapman shares so much about his family online (including helping his daughter put together an online video series.

When asked on his regular podcast why he didn't talk much about his family - it was through choice. It was all about letting his family choose how much they were online and hoe much they weren't. This baby had little influence over what would be shared online - but you can be sure that in 15 years time, they would have something to say about their toddler-days being on Flickr for the world to see.

Hearing this (and Jenny being a little concerned that *anyone* could see photos of Beth (or us) online made me think. How much do we want to share? How much do we want to keep private and what does that mean.

So, when I started using the babyB handle when talking about our wee girl. I talk about Mrs theWeir as "theWeir" is my twitter, friendfeed, and bebo handle. We only let friends & family view picture on Flickr & Facebook. Pictures of babyB do not end up on Posterous. This can be restrictive when there's something very cute I might want to share (and I'm sure I'll come up with a way to make it work in the future), but for now it's working alright.

I do share tons of other photos on Flickr, Facebook and Posterous, but just not of babyB.

And that's why I use those abbreviations. It's not to be better than anyone else, just the way we're working it for now. All these self-publishing platforms are new ground and making informed, wise decisions is what it's all about for me.

What do you think? Do you share your family & photos with everyone?

Sunday, 27 September 2009

You are with me

Well, not literally. But perhaps emotionally and definatley technologically. Are we friends on Fb, do we follow each other on twitter, friendfeed,, Flickr, Facebook, bebo or

Well, here's the thing. Earlier this year, I played some drumkit and percussion on a recording project my friend (and long-time musical collaborator) Clive Parnell was working on.

The result of the studio time is now here, released for the world to hear. You can buy a plastic disc of the songs (CD) from Clive (see his Facebook group here), or through CD Baby, or you can buy the digital tracks from iTunes and, erm, CD Baby.

But this is not about selling CDs or downloads to make money. FULL DISCLOSURE: I make nothing from the sales or otherwise. Those are not affiliate links. In fact, 30% of the proceeds goes to support the work of UCCF.

This is about sharing the music, helping people connect with God though it and hopefully resourcing the church.

Clive and I have spent a bit of time looking at ways to share more than just the songs with people, so he's written some blog posts about where the songs came from and we're working on some other material that will support the songs.

Check out the tunes on MySpace here, read some of Clive's blog posts and if you want to get involved, get the tunes from the links above.

So there you have it, musical-plug over and out.

Grace & Peace,


Monday, 21 September 2009


It's not a new thought, but each of use face choices in each moment of our living.

We make a lot of choices automatically - you're breathing now, aren't you?

The choices we make now determine our future - they influence the way we percieve the world. The choices we make influence the way the world perceives us. I would suggest we also shape the world we live in by the choices we make. Which is an interesting thought.

Will I shave today?

Will I ride my bike, or take the car to work?

Will I be on time, or try to fit in *one more thing* before leaving?

Will I put the needs of someone else before me?

Will I put my trust in a system, a currency or something more eternal?

Will I be true to my word or let a few things slide?

As a follower of Jesus, I want my choices to bring Glory to Him.

Father, let me point people to You - the source of life. Jesus, thank you for the grace to live in the light of who I was made to be. Spirit, empower me to make the right decisions as I walk with You.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

"do it the same - but better"

I wrote this on my blog at work, and thought I'd share it here too.

I love new things.

I enjoy the journey of discovery with something that you've never seen/held/interacted with before. But there's a lot of things that I do by heart. My bike ride to work, putting the bins out every night, packing my bag for work the night before. These are not moments I remember - or take time to remember.

We need that though. A life without rhythm can be disorienting - I think we are made to function in the balance of regularity and spontaneity. A life lived too much in the regularity camp becomes stale, dry, lacks invention and is probably very boring. if you listened to your heartbeat for a day, you'd find a couple of things:

Your heart was always beating a rhythm.
I think the same is true of our lives - we are always in a routine of some form. Good, bad or indifferent. Just recognise it's there and you can do something about it.

The tempo and timbre of your heartbeat will change throughout the day
As we do things throughout the day, change pace, get passionate about something, all that good stuff, we will find our heart adapts. Like seasons of our lives - sometimes it's intensity in ten cities, sometimes it's 48bpm and we are snoozing. Recognise where you are and appreciate the moment.

External forces will impact your rhythm
Be it chasing down a bus, dealing with a tough customer interaction or a being put in danger - all change the way our heart. How we respond will determine what happens next - right?

So, where am I going with this? My life is not boring - at least, not for me anyway - and I'm not into change for the sake of it. I enjoy my job, I have a great family and amazing friends. But inspired by this post from Seth Godin, it's time to do something different.

As you build (successful) experience in a role, a team or an organisation, it can be very tempting to rely on past achievements/experiences and think they will be exactly what's needed the next time. Often that can be the case. But that doesn't drive innovation. That doesn't see things get better. That might lead to regression, rather than keeping things "nice and stable".

So, I want to try some new ideas. Create some new approaches - no doubt inspired by something I have seen/experienced/enjoyed from somewhere else, but nonetheless, I want to bring something fresh to the table.

Are you with me? What are you going to do that will be fresh?

Maybe I'll take a different route on the bike, or book some flights to a far-off-land - just to mix it up...

Monday, 7 September 2009

Easy like...?

When taking a trip with the family at the weekend, I saw a van for the company "EasiTyre".

It was white, with orange livery. The typefaces used were *very* similar to a certain group of companies using the word Easy in their moniker.

That got me thinking. Did they use that name & style to create associations with that brand, and make potential customers more comfortable with trying them out? Or because they aspired to deliver that kind of no-nonsense, straight-forward service?

So, in this age of there being lots of people competing for attention (be it online, on TV, billboards), do we want to become successful (however that is defined) by imitating, or by being innovative. By copying or by being unique?

My view? Be true to who you are, play to your strengths and bring your flavour to the table. Sure, you might want to provide a no-frills tyre service that's inspired by another no-frills service, or help people who phone a large company looking for help, but you will do it differently, with passion and commitment. And that can be a very good thing. Especially when you are sure you want to do it.

There's no-one else who can be you, who can do what you can do. It might not seem like it now, but it's gotta be worth finding out who you are meant to be.

What do you think?

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Can anyone help?

As part of our personal review process at work, I was reflecting on the role I am currently working in and how the heck I got here. It really wasn't by design, despite what some people have suggested to me. So what? Well, I think it's worth trying to learn from journey that we travel to get where we are, so I'm going to share what I *think* has happened and see what I might have picked up on the way. Hopefully it's of use to others too.

First things first, a couple of years ago, I applied for a job in our eCommerce Support Team after realising that my old job was doing my head in. After a few months, an email went ‘round the team I was working in: “can anyone help Garry with some slides?” At the time I was working on some excel-based stat fest, but wasn’t really that busy ;-P. I thought it would be fun to do something different...

I wasn’t really sure who “Garry” was, just had him appear at my desk, tell me he was looking for some slides to help articulate the opportunities that lay ahead for Corporate Pensions. I took the text-only slides, added some images to augment the content and make it slightly more visual. The slides were, in the end, still very text-driven, but it seemed to hit the mark with Garry – and with his audience.

The piece of work didn’t lead to anything directly, but was a bit of fun. It gave me a chance to get better at image manipulation, and to learn more about Powerpoint. It turned out that the “Garry” was the Director of our area.

Looking back at it, I guess the lesson I learned was to be willing and do good work. That will ultimately let you enjoy what you do and that you can make a difference having fun!