Thursday, 9 August 2012

soft on Yeltsin

I remember reading this article nearly a year ago.

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

entirely possible

A few years ago, I had the privilege of being asked to speak at the KC.

The content was to be from the beatitudes - Matthew 5. In preparation, I noticed a few things that stood out, but the thing I really wanted to emphasise were inspired by something I'd heard from someone else.

The Lord's/Disciples prayer is smack in the centre of the passage known historically as the "sermon on the mount".

And it's made up for five things:

  1. Acknowledging God is bigger than we are (Our Father in heaven, holy is Your Name)
  2. We need His ways of thinking and doing (Your kingdom come, your will be done)
  3. Help us deal with the past (Help us forgive our debtors)
  4. Thank you for being with us in the present (Give us food to eat)
  5. Let's go into the future together (Help us forgive those who will wrong us)

This has been in the front of my mind for a few weeks now.

It's a simple faith.

To stop trying to do it in my own strength. Stop treading water.

I think I had got in a rut of existing without living in an awareness of the presence of God. Yeah, I might talk about walking with Him, but am I stumbling in the gloom of self-indulgent, pseudo-darkness?

His timing is perfect. His ways are just.

There is a growing sense in me of the possible. Of what can happen. Of what can be.

Let it come.

Monday, 6 August 2012

You act too much

“ I have to jump in with both feet. When I am preaching the application of theatrical thinking and technique to the business world (or to presentations), I often hear the criticism that I ‘want people to be fake, to pretend to be something they are not.’ This criticism is based on a fundamental and massive misconception of theater — the idea that theater is a form of pretense.

“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.”

(comment taken from Slide decoration: how much is too much?)

And so do I.

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Monitoring who?

I've been working through a pile of thoughts captured on Evernote and as draft blog posts.

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

Walking vapour


If 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.

And it's not really a product of more consumerist society. Not really. We've done this since we started making things. And that's also known as advancement or evolution.

And that's why it's all meaningless.
“Meaningless! Meaningless!”    says the Teacher. “Utterly meaningless!  Everything is meaningless.

With meaning

Actually, 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 weeks months back when reflecting on Jimmy's passing.

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?


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.