Monthly Archives: February 2011

hollow heads and books

Greetings everyone

A few years ago, through working on a production I ended up listening to a four hour “motivational” session with Benjamin Zander to a room full of Pick n Pay managers. Mr Zander is of course extremely entertaining so I did not mind sitting through it. For those who do not know who he is, he is a well known conductor, but also him and his wife go around and do talks on the power of possibility. His wife actually wrote the book so I guess he is the mouthpiece.

Today I will not be writing about the power of possibility, so you can relax about that. Mr Zander spoke about a saying his father taught him. And this is what i want to focus on today.

The saying :

If a wise book hits a hollow head, its no fault of the book.

Volumes could most likely be written about what that means, so I will focus it even more and relate it to a specific thing…. Have you ever sat in church (or wherever) and the preacher, teacher or speaker is mentioning specific examples. And you internally are checking if what they mentioning applies, and if it does not you feel relieved? Has that ever happened to you?

Thats the beginning signs of Hollow Head Syndrome (ha ha ha just kidding hey). But to explain, you see what the saying is basically implying is that if truth(or any thing wise) comes your way and you don’t fully grasp it, its not the truth or wisdom’s fault its you that have a “hollow head”. I have seen it many times.

What most people do is to reduce the truth or book or wise saying to their own level of understanding, which sometimes truly warps the original intention. Somehow we tend to warp the meaning of the lesson given into our situation. Example, and I am going to make it very literal here for understanding sake.

Let’s say I read the scripture “Blessed are the poor in spirit….” so I hear that and reason in my head that since I am poor and I have a spirit clearly I qualify and can apply the promise of that verse directly to me. Now I know that is being overly simplistic (in case you are guilty of having a hollow head I made it too simple to misinterpret ha ha ha). That is definitely not what Jesus meant when saying that, so I would say the is Hollow Head In Action.

Another good example is found in Matthew 23 vs 23 which ends in “You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former” I left out the lines of the verse before that specifically to prove a point. Because what Jesus was seemingly addressing here was the tithing issue, and many people reason it to apply to that because that is what the words before that was addressing. But if you simply look at the line above, Jesus was actually talking about balance. You cannot simply have the set of laws without the true meaning behind it. Thats what He really meant. Anyway I think you get the point.

You see, I think a lot of people do this to scriptures and life in general. They are actually twisting what they hear in order to make sense of where they are or justify where they are. Let’s say a pastor is preaching about the sin of stealing, but because he does not mention your specific sin it renders you not guilty of it….

I think the crux of what I am trying to say here is, think a bit deeper and maybe realize that there are sometimes different things in life and we don’t always understand something fully. That is no reason to “reduce it to your level of understanding”.

Rather let us embrace the truth and open ourselves to the larger meaning, even if it means accepting that we may be wrong. We might just learn about ourselves and others in the process.

THO

the true value of money

This will by no means be a definitive study, but simply a commentary as per my usual comments so don’t quote me hey…

If you take out a hundred rand note, what is the value of it? I mean what is the real value….. The only way you would be able to do that today is comparing it against another currency, right? So lets say we put that against the dollar. R100 becomes $13.99 at todays rate which is +- R7.15 for $1. Simple hey. So is that the real value? Maybe, but then we ask again what is the value of the Dollar then? Well the only way to really value that is against another currency. I could go on and on, but sooner or later we come the realization…. Inherently money does not really hold an intrinsic value. Its pretty much a stacked deck of cards isn’t it? Because the whole value is a dependent on comparing one to the other. In other words the real value is a collectively accepted good faith “value” of all parties involved.

Its called fiat money, which means a currency only really has value based on government regulations and so forth.. Thats a very loose definition so finance majors please don’t crit me. And the only definite way to find the value globally would be do what I did earlier and compare the currency of one country to another to find the value of that particular currency. For a more descriptive definition go here.

So why am I talking about this. Well I was thinking the other day. Our money tends to reflect the worldview or belief system of the collective. Don’t agree? Well, fiat money was not always the way. Before we used to have what was known as the gold standard. This was a system which had a constant and an absolute, where all money ultimately had a value that was in physical gold.

Anyway, more on that later. So if you look at it very closely then Fiat money is really a skewed way of determining value because its extremely relative. Its really based on what everybody collectively decides. If the FED in the states decides to devalue the dollar by 1000 points, they can do that and throw the world into a bit of a scare. It also lends itself to a whole lot of manipulation don’t you think? If there are corrupt people in the system ( and we know that government has no corruption whatsoever hey… we know that), well then they can change things for their benefit.

Anyway I am drifting here. To bring it to the point of what I see or suggest we look at. Is that money seems to reflect the belief system that is prevalent at the time.

If we go back to when the gold standard was in, especially in the states, was when the Bible was read openly in schools, religion (in my case I refer to Christianity). There were absolutes.

If we look at culture today, its most certainly not a religious culture. Its extremely non committal. Every body has “their own truth” and everything is relative. Sounds a bit FIATY if you ask me.

Its gets more elaborate than that, but I just thought hey it does seem to make sense.
Another negative of fiat money is the necessity for inflation. I mean if governments are deciding how much a currency is worth then it means they hold the ability to fluctuate that currency which ever way they want.

Gold is Gold and it cannot be changed for what it is. I think there was wisdom in the previous way. With that I mean, where we held Religion as important and involved in every day life even to the point that it was reflected in the economy. And likewise God is God and not based on a collective decision by people as to whether He exists or not. Kind of like gold , don’t you think? Think of how many meetings there won’t have to be if gold is the standard again. No euro zone issues, no debt crisis’s because banks will not be able to loan money they do not have (and they currently do this LEGALLY).

DISCLAIMER

I am not giving investment advice hey. Don’t go out and stock up on gold now and declare the world to be evil (ok maybe it is) and that the money system is from the devil (ok maybe that is too). And maybe gold is a good investment, but I am just saying…..

THO

shakespeare vs scripture

I suppose having just finished 8 weeks of Shakespeare in the park has caused me to think about the differences between shakespeare and scripture. Personally I always hated doing the shakespeare books at school, so I guess this is life’s way of getting me back (ha ha ha) I have been doing different shows for the first 2 months for the past 8 years. So word of advice, don’t things with passion, you might just end up having to do shows of it.

I know all the english stalwarts will have me slaughtered for saying this, but I really don’t see the big deal about the plays written. I think that its pretty much 16th century sewende laan (south african soapie). Obviously if you write about human relationships it will be timeless. But anyway thats my opinion hey don’t shoot me.

Anyway on to topic. The differences. Shakespeare plays are mostly about romance (star crossed lovers/Romeo and Juliet) and there will always be some form of changing of characters. Someone will present or misrepresent themselves to others and the result a good comedy. There are some really evil plays too (Macbeth comes to mind here). Don’t get me wrong, I think he was good and brilliant and all that. I just don’t see why all the study of his work and trying to see the deeper meaning. Is there a deeper and if so, did he really think that when writing it?

So as to the differences between scripture and shakespeare here goes :

Please click on the picture so you can read the table.

Anyway today is more the fun of ripping shakespeare hey, so don’t get too offended. The ladies should love him though, he popularized the whole romance falling in love thing. Now we all have to be nice to women (eish eish).

But on a serious note. The biggest notable difference of scripture is that you can build a whole life truth out of it. For example “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” can be used to build a community, a nation, a world and if applied it would change the world literally. I don’t think we can say the same for shakespeare can we?

THO

T.T.T.

We have come to the end of the week and my last post for the week. I thought I would keep the best for last. Well my best thoughts about life at least, is what I mean.

You know the saying “at the end of our life, who will wish that they spent more time at the office, or more time doing projects,etc.”

Today T.T.T (Take The Time) We live such busy lives doing whatever, and simply trying to meet up with someone is sometimes impossible. We all declare “we don’t have time” But time itself is our greatest commodity. When you really think about it, time is all we really have. We do however get to decide how we spend it or invest it. As the week comes to an end, I have focussed on relationships this week, therefore when we look at what is really important in life we will realise that its our relationships with people that count.

I won’t speak for all, but for some thats the last thing we tend to think about. We spend more time trying to build things than build real relationships. Take the time, because you can, and spend it with the ones who are the real value to you.

You don’t have to wait till the end of your life to have this as a regret. I know I know, people will say, but I have to do this and this and that, I have car payments, I have a bond. And if you do please pay them. But they are not an excuse to not spend time with your children, with friends, family,etc. You decided to take the car and the bigger house, you don’t have to have the things. All I am asking is, are we spending the time wisely, and we do have a choice with our time and WE DO HAVE TIME….

Remember. Happiness is a good result from good choices, rather than a reason to make decisions. Have good weekend. Next week back to normal. It will once again be “Not so Daily”

THO

the prodigal you

We all know the story of the prodigal son I hope. And its a beautiful description of how the Father loves His children. Today however, I want us to focus on the son that left.

What did he feel or believe he was not getting at home? What made him leave? What did he feel he was missing out on? Are these the reasons he decided to leave?

So my question today is, are we a bit like that? I know we are because there are a lot of unhappy people out there. Never content with what’s in front of them. There is always something wrong with the person they are with, the people they work with. The problems with there environment. I am not saying be happy with mediocrity, no I mean finding fault with what is good for you.

You see the prodigal son could not realise what he had while he had it. He never knew the Love of his Father while he was with Him. He had to go through hell to realise that.

Do we have to go through hell to find out maybe that what is good for us is what we have already? Are we sometimes so focussed on the bigger better next thing that we never really get to grips and embrace what is good for us now.

On a side note I would like to point out that the son who remained never fully realised it too. He too never found the Father’s real love while living under his roof.

Clearly the problem was not the environment, it was an internal problem. And when there are those in your life, no matter where you go and who you go with, it always finds you.

So lets realise right now the good things and relationships we do have and celebrate that.
Lets stop “chasing the dream” and lets start living our life now.

THO

spanglish

I am not sure if most people watched this movie. If not, please do, its a really good one even though I know people are not into Adam Sandler movies. But I assure you its not one of his normal ones.

Anyway, basic plot of the movie is this well to do family need help. So they hire a woman who only really speaks spanish and this woman’s daughter gets to stay with her. Long story made short, the little girl gets to experience a life she never would of seen in normal days.

The little girl gets good clothes goes to a good school and basically loves every minute of it. For reasons I won’t go into now ( as I do not want to spoil the movie for you if you do plan on watching it ) the woman leaves and takes her daughter with her.

This is what I would like to focus on here today. As they leave the daughter writes the father of the house a touching letter as the father had grown really fond of her and the mother.
In the letter she thanks him (Adam) for every opportunity and really expresses her gratitude for all given to her. But she “will always and forever be ‘her mother’s daughter’ ”

And just here is where I want to stop and really ask ourselves. You see I always believed that it is really important to know who you belong to, who defines you.

If you don’t know that you will look for every opportunity in everything. I mean look at this little girl, walking away from what was clearly a “better life” for her.
Because she knew whose she was. Therefore it was easy to realise who knew best for her.

I for one could learn a lot from that hey. How about you?

THO

Posted by THO (TheHonestOne)

Brainiac

Yes I watch smallville, my weakness in life I guess. In keeping with my theme this week of relationships, I thought this one episode really did have a great story.

Here goes :

Clark Kent (superman) and Lois Lane (at this stage she is clark’s “friend” because he did not want to hurt her in the relationship they did have therefore he broke it off) Drama drama drama hey. Anyway Lois reminds Clark that they have a reunion to go to. He goes even though he looks like his lip was dragging on the ground.

Now if anybody here watches smallville then you will know who brainiac is, if not well then, in previous seasons he was one of the enemies and not someone Clark took well to. But in this episode brainiac(a good guy now) pitches up and decides to show Clark his past, present and future. At this stage of Clark’s life he was afraid of himself, because his father had warned him of the darkness within himself. This caused Clark to pretty much run away from himself. To get to the point.

The “darkness” in his life turned out to be the past. Clark was holding onto the past and it was affecting everything. So end of episode Clark decides to let the past go and declare his love for Lois. And as they dance off to the end of the episode she steps on his feet. He starts floating. You will say so what he is superman. But this is what I want to focus on today. Up until this point Clark could not fly successfully. Yet here he is flying without even trying.

My question to you today is, what keeps you from flying? What are you holding onto that prevents you from living free and ‘flying’. Is it our past that keeps us from living totally free. Is it fear that keeps us from what we could be doing?Is that our darkness?

THO

here and now, and thereafter

Its valentine’s day. At the risk of sounding cheesy, I will be chatting specifically about romantic relationships. It does however apply to all relationships, but I wanted to be cheesy(ha ha ha). So here we go. Roses are red, violets…….mozzarellaaaaaaaa ha ha ha

To explain I will have to use some history of mine. I was engaged to a woman, if I am not mistaken about 9 years ago. Shocked? Well it was not the best part of my life (I was young and stupid) Now I am old and stupid (kidding). When thinking back I really don’t know what I was thinking, but to cut a long story short, I never did get married to her. I am not sure whether it was fortunate or unfortunate, but here I am now hey.

After a break up the psychologists always say its good to do a relationship autopsy. To discover what caused it. In this broken engagement I came across something I think can help us all.

You see, when I looked over the relationship it was a driven one. What’s that? When we were friends, there was a drive to get into the relationship. When we were in the relationship there was a drive for more so next step was engagement. Right?

You see what I realised is that when you insecure, a relationship won’t fix that. You will simply be insecure in the relationship. If you insecure in the relationship, a marriage won’t fix that, you will be married and insecure. You see I discovered what was driving the relationship was things that really should not have been given the driving seat. Remember this one thing, relationships and marriages do not fix the problems, they magnify them.

But I am getting ahead of myself. What I mean to get across is, when you approach people as, what I call, destinational endeavors it never works.

Destinational endeavors, what’s that you ask? Its when you approach the person with and end in mind already. It stifles freedom in a sense. So you don’t really have a friendship with the person, you actually using them to get what you want. That may be whatever, like all you may want is someone to talk to, a relationship, a marriage, etc….

All those things are not bad on their own, but they become terrible as goals. They should be the results and not the goal. Good friends come from spending willing time with each other. Good relationships come from good friendships, good marriages come from good relationships. And never the other way around, don’t you think? So its better maybe to look at friendships, relationships and marriages as part of the journey of life, and not destinations to achieve.

You don’t go setting out to find a relationship and then go and grab a friend and and drive it that way. Its possibly the worst thing to go find a wife/husband and and then try and look to start a relationship. I think we need to be more organic in approach and less clinical. We tend to list our wants and then go and meet people and start ticking off what we don’t like. We so focussed on “where is this going??” rather than living in the “now”

I know I sound like I am ranting here. But imagine we were treated like that? I would be beside myself since I am being judged on a level I will never come out okay in.

So since its valentines day. Enjoy the journey, go out and enjoy the here and now, you never know who you might take to the thereafter……..as a friend, a relationship, a husband/wife…………………..

THO
This week there might be a few more posts than normal as I wanted to just focus on relationships for this week.

When the Clowns Come Home

Clowns are really strange beings. You ever notice? Their smile never comes off their face.

But not forever……

At some point the mask or makeup will come off, hopefully when they get home. Their safe place.
It makes me think hey. I used to be like that before. Well, not a clown (some would disagree with that, boo to you). What I mean is that no one knew the real me. They only saw the smiley face I gave them.

I have been around christians and the church a while now. I think we have what I would term C.C.S. Christian Clown Syndrome. Ha ha I should patent that one. To clarify my statement. There is an strange need for people to advertise Christ and make Christian life seem better than what it is in order to make the christian life attractive. This leads to people always having a “smile on their face” when presenting the gospel to people who don’t know Jesus.

I suppose there is nothing wrong with that, but it does lead me to question authenticity.
Because I have been around a while, most people are not as happy as we present ourselves to be. So even on an individual level we tend to do this as well. Whether its because we want to appear “spiritual” or simply appear perfect and okay all the time. The smile is not really reflecting you at the time is it…….

Statistics show that there are no less divorces amongst christian married couples, no less depressed christians. I could mention more examples, but I think you would agree by this stage. Of course there are people who are genuine, in no way do I want to say that all are not genuine. I just mean that a large part of people are taught to act like life is better than it is in order “to shine their light”

It is to this particular group of people I am speaking to. You present a smile, but your heart is in pain. When you go home the joy that everyone speaks about, eludes you.

Also when it comes to evangelism it seems so like we trying to sell something we hardly believe in ourselves. Check out the link at the end of the post.

Ok so that is sounding very down, but you know its the truth. And that is what I want to talk about today. When we face the pain that is in our lives and really deal with it then and only then can we find true joy. Then we cease to be “clowns”

Do you have C.C.S.?

I would point out here that life with Jesus is beautiful, but not without pain and its my hope that all people come to know Him, but the real Him.

Here is a post by a real genuine Jesus follower in case you never heard of him, he is Frank Viola. Please read its really good.

The Ocean

The ocean can really be a foreboding place. Its sheer enormity and mystery has kept humanity in awe for many centuries. One cannot but acknowledge that you simply cannot mess with the ocean in a willy nilly fashion.

On a side note I do believe that a few hundred years ago, at the annual council of sharks the sharks started to complain that food was getting difficult to catch because they spent too many hours searching for it. They voted and decided to create beaches, and they would send a vision (yes they could do that) to some poor fool smoking some weed and teach him to surf. Poor fool fell for it and problem solved. Easy food for sharks. It took time, but silly people they really think its fun still. Ha ha ha just kidding hey. Just pulling the surfers legs (or is it the sharks pulling your legs) ha ha ha ha I am going to stop I promise.

Anyway, back to what I meant to talk about. That even the ocean with its mystery and depth has a beach that is shallow. And since even some depths of the ocean will probably never be seen, we can still enjoy the ocean at least on a surface level. To go deeper means we need specific tools and training.

Which made me think….. Its pretty much like life hey. All of us have really deep parts to us, but when we meet people first we tend to present our “beach”. Which is good. Its not good to delve into the depths without knowing the surface and what it entails.

So why am I talking about this? Relationships are sometimes difficult and hard work. Maybe its because we try too early to go to the deep side without the tools (maturity, emotional IQ, respect, love).

And coming to think of it the ocean tends to reflect God too.

I mean God has depth and mystery (most of which we will not know) yet even God has the “beach” that makes Him knowable to us. And as we grow and develop we get to go deeper.
So yes even God made a place for surfers….

the Honest One