Friday, 21 September 2012
Thursday, 9 August 2012
Mr Gorbachev talked about some of his regrets. How he should have known better. Mr G has regrets, but he didn't do anything at the time. So are they just rose-tinted and fuelled by hindsight and a desire to have remained in power for longer? I don't know as I can't ask the man what the real motivations were.
I'm sure most of us don't want to get to the point where we find ourselves at 80 years old (Lord willing) with a pile of things we wish we'd said or done.
Of lessons we wish we'd learned the first few times, not the twentieth time. Or we've still not learned.
Lots of sporting analogies and blasé statements fill our Twitter streams and Facebook feeds. The reality is, however, that life is all about making decisions.
Too often, I think we make the decision to drop out. To not even make a choice and *let fate decide*. Really?
Is that life in all it's fullness?
I don't think so. I'm not for making 100 strategic decisions about your day before you've got out of bed.
But there's an opporuntity for those of us who want to listen for the Spirit of God as we follow the way of Jesus to find out there's much grace to be discovered as we make decisions in light of His truth and His mercy. If He is with us, are we paying attention? Are we bothered? There's no magic formula, but by faith all things are possible.
In fact, maybe we can avoid regret by spending less time looking through the rose-tints and more time in the present that shapes the future.
How do you do it?
Tuesday, 7 August 2012
- Acknowledging God is bigger than we are (Our Father in heaven, holy is Your Name)
- We need His ways of thinking and doing (Your kingdom come, your will be done)
- Help us deal with the past (Help us forgive our debtors)
- Thank you for being with us in the present (Give us food to eat)
- Let's go into the future together (Help us forgive those who will wrong us)
It's a simple faith.To stop trying to do it in my own strength. Stop treading water.
Monday, 6 August 2012
“This is manifestly not the case. Great actors do not ADD anything to themselves in acting. Instead, they selectively REVEAL. On stage — whether acting or presenting — I am never someone else. I reveal some aspect of myself to the audience. I reveal my genuine enthusiasm for the theme, or my real worries about the situation. Only thus can I be genuine, be authentic.”
And so do I.
Saturday, 4 August 2012
I came across these words I'd written ten months ago. I sounded much more intelligent than I feel right now:
Something about listening and being listened to.
It's part of the development from radical to accepted to normal to hackneyed to outdated. At the point of moving to accepted to normal, we start to categorise risk and exercise control. In many, many cases, this kills innovation and restricts growth.
And so something else will come along that challenges the measures, risk-controlled norm and we call that *radical*.
And so it goes on.
Art is often the radical. The fringe. The outcast. I've said before that I like the outside view. I'd like to be more creative with that view. Intentionally and spontaneously.
I wish i knew what I was talking about and what I'd been thinking about.So I thought I'd just post it and see if anyone could help... I'm not daft enough to think I have all the answers.
Help me out, if you can.
Thursday, 2 August 2012
BrokenIf you keep an eye on such things, you'll have noticed that the social news service Digg was recently broken up and sold for parts. The name, domain, code and some other bits for $500k. $12m was paid for the Digg team members and $4m for some patents.
And as Alexia Tsosis pointed out, a few short years ago people were begging their friends to vote up their posts.
But it's the way of all things. Not just technology. Sure, there's people still fascinated by cars of all styles and models. People collecting stamps from 100 years ago. And people value a while pile of things.
Something is hot. Then it's not. Sometimes that is through planned obsolescence, other times that's because there's a newer, faster, hotter, cooler, smarter, thinner, efficient-er version or the product or service.
But then if we're honest new is *always* perceived to be better. Often new actually is better.
“Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher. “Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.”
With meaningActually, the original work is not "meaningless". It's more like "vapour". It doesn't actually matter in the grand scheme of a lifetime. Or an eternity.
I wrote about this a few
But vapour isn't hopeless. It isn't without impact.
At the weekend, I ended up in St Andrews at the RVLTN event. A far better musician than me was playing. In fact a whole pile of them were. It was nice to get a free ticket from my friend. Ten years ago, I think the band I used to play with would've been kicking around this kind of event. It was nice to be there without an agenda. Without time pressure. Just to see what would happen.
I had the privilege of meeting and chatting with a pile of people - some old friends I'd not seen for years, some new friends who I hadn't had that long to chat with. There were people I wanted to speak with by didn't want to be *that guy* either.
So lots of conversation. Lots of questions. Lots of experiences to listen to and learn from. And despite the beauty and treasure of those moments, it's still vapour?
Yes.It's vapour because it doesn't last forever. It's vapour, however, that's preparing us for something. For somewhere. Here and now. And forever. And I don't get it. I don't have it all figured out. But I'm graced with these moments. I want to make the most of them.
"Just because your present doesn't mean that you're here"
Even if I was to part of the best band in the world. Or be the best person I could be. It's still a twinkling of an eye. But it's not pointless. Because each moment shapes the next one.
The world needs present people. People aware to the moments going on around them and listening for the still small voice (or the really loud one) saying: "this is the way you can show grace and mercy to people. Just walk in it."
As a side note, I'm so aware there are people I haven't seen for years and if we've been trying to connect in person and it's not happened, I'm sorry. It's really nothing personal, but like many of is, my bandwidth is limited.
Monday, 30 July 2012
I live in Scotland. I was born here.Something in the water means that as a nation we talk about the weather a lot. And given the ridiculous amount of rain we've had in 2012, there's more water.
Let's clear something up: I'm not a meteorologist.
For whatever reason.
"My old fishing pal Jimmy Kemp said there is no such thing as bad weather, it's only the wrong clothes." (from here)
How else do you overcome the rain?
Saturday, 14 July 2012
Thursday, 3 May 2012
Scars are a funny thingI was looking at my hands the other day and noticed that not only are they showing their use with plenty of lines and crease
Maybe I need to moisturise. Which always makes me think of this scene from Ocean's Eleven:
Or maybe not.
There are marks on my hands from incidents I can remember as far back as 1988. Which isn't that far, but given I was 9 years old, that's not too bad.
Nope, scars are okay. They remind us of the life we've lived. Of what we've been carried through, or just survived.
And if they're really impressive, they might earn a little kudos. But that's less likely.
Saturday, 28 April 2012
Last week, Jimmy Adam passed away. He was an Edinburgh taxi driver, a collector of *things* and the first person I can (currently) recall being a bit of a technology geek. Certainly the first person I can remember having knowledge of how PA systems worked. He was unashamedly himself, full of life and most of all, I always remember him making time for me if I was around their house or at their church. I wasn't able to attend the funeral, but my Dad said it was quite something - full of life, and amusingly, the traffic jam outside was a sight Jimmy would have been proud of.
For my Higher English dissertation, I wrote about Slaughterhouse 5 by Kurt Vonnegut Junior. The premise of my essay was that the story was really about there being nothing new under the sun. As the main character in the book shifts back and forward through time, the cyclical nature of his experiences was stark to me and while his cynicism increased, the core of the issue was the same.
The phrase is taken from a book in the bible. I love the book of Ecclesiastes. Many people don't. But it's wonderfully grounding. And there's some great teaching on it from Rob Bell and others.
The word translated as "meaningless" in this book is more like our word vapour. It's passing. It's not going to last. The writer of the book is calling us to remember that the troubles of life aren't forever. There's ebbs and flows, but the fabric of our physical existence isn't all there is. Jesus would later come along and say “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
I love how Jesus' overcoming wasn't the aggressive forcing of a worldview or the killing of anyone who stood against him in person. But he overcame by having identity and therefore security based on an understanding of who he was and what that meant for how he lived.
It's liberating to have a wider view than current moments of trial. And this week for me has had a few. I'm sure it has had many for you.
So when I saw this tweet and followed through to the article, it was a great reminder of the repetition we experience in life. The first Santram ad was witty:
The spoof by Nando's was a bit cheap, but had a humour to it:
The reply from Santram was classy:
But actually, the first ad was a bit of a re-working of someone else's idea anyway:
Because there's nothing new under the sun. Or on the internet.
People will rip off your ideas, your wallet and even your emotions. Trials will come. For those grieving the passing of a loved one, may you be comforted.
But there's a hope beyond our present experiences that means we don't have to fear those moments of loss. We can embrace them as part of the journey. As how we grow. As how we can become more like Jesus.
Wednesday, 25 January 2012
Saturday, 7 January 2012
Alive | Growth | Proactive
This year, I wasn't really thinking about three words as I was struggling to have the mental space or energy to think about it. Then a funny thing happened.
I was thinking about a focus for writing about this year - after last year's eight-thirty project, and the themes of faith, hope and love were really sticking with me. I mentioned this yesterday.
So those three words are going to be my three words for 2012.
To grow in each area. To live in the light of them. To get closer to God in the midst of it all. I even drew a picture.
As Paul wrote in 1 Corinthans 13:13:
"so these three things continue forever: faith, hope, and love. And the greatest of these is love."
or as Eugene Peterson translated it:
"But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love." Read the whole passage for the context ;->.
Friday, 6 January 2012
It's 2012. But you knew that already. Or maybe it's not and you are reading this from the future. Welcome back.
Welcome, in fact, wherever you are on the space-time continuum.
As I mentioned yesterday, I'm soon about to reach the end of my 365 project over on blipfoto.com/eightthirty. The idea behind the project was to take a photo every day at either 8:30am or 8:30pm. I started on my birthday in 2011 and it's soon to be my birthday in 2012.
A few weeks ago, I decided that while the discipline of taking a photo and writing about it was something I was really enjoying, the original intention had morphed into something else.
I want to write more about faith, hope and love. And the journey of discovering more about these three things. And the tension that exists to live in the light of what I hold to be the eternal nature of these truths.
So my intention is to keep writing. And to keep taking pictures. I'll aim to keep going with eight-thirty. But I will be doing more writing here. On the old blog, 300 posts and counting. I'll be tagging entries with 13-13 (a reference to 1 Corinthians 13 v 13, in case you missed that!).
It's coming towards my new year, and this is one of my goals.
What are yours? Can I help you work towards them?