Monthly Archives: June 2011

comic comments

I thought I would send this article out today, not because of the content of the article, but the comments underneath it are exceptionally sarcastic and entertaining.

http://new.music.yahoo.com/blogs/stopthepresses/392212/justin-biebers-pal-president-obama-introduces-him-to-911-teens/

And before I forget here is the link to Points Of Separation Part 1

THO

laws and freedoms

I heard on the radio yesterday, that our government was in the process of banning trans fatty acids. This in turn would put some products out of the market, since it cannot be made without trans fatty acids in them.

Okay I do see what they trying to do. And it will no doubt help people eat healthier in the end. But I got to thinking…..

Do we really have that choice to be healthy or not? Yes we cannot choose bad food if it is not there to choose, but what do we give up in the process. Also, what is the limit to this? Are we simply going to ban everything that is bad for us?

Even our bodies need a certain amount of bacteria to fight with in order to be considered healthy. I guess what I am asking is, what is better?

Removing the dangerous food? Or educating people on what is good for them and they make their own decision….

We do this in a lot of areas of our lives. Rather than teaching people how to handle freedom properly, we simply remove the “deception” from the equation. We now do not have the ability to be deceived right????

I do not think its quite so simple. With freedom needs, comes the need to have the ability to be deceived. How else will we ever learn new stuff? If we simply ban all bad stuff, how will we ever know what they are?

THO

The pursuit of success

The pursuit of success is a futile one. Its like chasing the horizon, always out of your reach, and when you think you have it the goal posts move. I would even stick my neck out and say that its a waste of your time and life to pursue success.

Now that I have your attention

What can we do?

Firstly to define success I will refer you to a very old blog post here it is blast from the past.

Someone asked Sir Isaac Newton, what he had learnt in his walk towards inventing the light bulb. To which he answered “I learnt 1999 ways how not to make a light bulb. Which in itself speaks volumes.
But what I want to let you see today, is that Sir Isaac Newton never set out to succeed (or better put, he never set out for success in itself). Rather he had a passion and expressed that by putting hours and hours and days and weeks and months into it. The success of his efforts were incidental to the passion.

The light bulb was the goal, not the results of the light bulb.

When Steve Jobs set out to make computers integrated into our lives, money was not on his brain. Today we have the Iphone, the Ipod, the Ipad, Bill Gates beat him (or maybe stole) the home pc concept. But still today, when it comes to innovation, no one can deny that Steve Jobs just oozes it, even in his sickly state.

The point???? Even he never made success his goal. It was an incident along the way of him expressing his passion.

Bringing this into what it means for a christian.
I have been around a bit and we know that some seek the “gifts”. Miracles, Words, visions, prophecies,etc……

These are good things to want to be involved in, But I do not consider these things to be evidence of a successful christian. I think they are the incidentals in a christian’s life.

You want to live a successful Christ filled life? Pursue Jesus, live Him from the inside out. I promise you all the things you want will be the result. DO NOT make the things the focus. You will come short every time.

I suppose this applies to all areas of life though.

THO

What is my value to you?

I think I was born to ruffle people’s feathers. I am not saying that I heard a voice from above saying “And he will ruffle everyone’s feathers”.

I mean that, that is the reaction I get from people when I open my mouth (mostly). When I look at my life I realise that this happens in all areas, therefore I am concluding that I must be born to do that.

English Standard Version (©2001)
“The one who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and the one who receives a righteous person because he is a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward.”

And no I am not declaring that I am a prophet. I think what Jesus was saying here, is that how you see a person will determine what you can receive from them.

If you see me as a pain (and most people do ha ha ha) well then that is all that you will get from me.

I was simply thinking that we so often only see what we want out of people, versus who they truly are. Companies especially make this mistake. They only care about the performance of a person in the area needed.

Its so short sighted, what if the best people for the things needed to be done are right in front of us, and we never see it. Because we so focused on what they said to us, how they treated us, or even better how could they do that. That one always baffles me. It shocks some people that some are shocked when people do evil things.

Its almost like for that moment we forget our own capabilities. But getting back to the point. I will stick to my ground, and say that how you see someone will determine what they are capable to do in your life.

We do have the capacity to be stretched more, be honest more, and live more…..

THO

take a drink

By now anyone who knows me even a little bit, knows that I am a Jason Upton fan through and through.

There is a song he wrote that is called the shadow of His wings. The first few words of the song is what spoke to me though. It goes “I get so thirsty trying to find Your presence, I forget to stop and take a drink….”you click here to watch a piece of it. (it will chow bandwidth hey)

I have listened to that song many times, but i think last week it really spoke something to me.

How often I get into the race of finding God and truth in life. Its pretty much what I seek at all times. Its just every now and again I forget to stop and simply enjoy the reality of His presence.

Sometimes I get caught up in the fight, and it is necessary to fight, but forget to “take a drink” from the fountain for myself.

We get so caught up in the business of life and really don’t enjoy life itself. It really made me think last week, why do I do what i do and for what?

Or should I say for Who? So my question today is do you stop to take a drink?

I am sure we all know the procedure, should and airplane lose cabin pressure, your first action should be to get the air supply to yourself first. It seems selfish, but a person who is gasping for air himself is of no help to the one next to him.

Likewise how can we really help anyone if we in need of the same sustenance ourselves?

THO

The day my life changed….

It was 2004 close to the end of the year. An encounter weekend (for those who do not know what that is, it was a weekend where we dealt with our lives – past and so forth).

Anyway, it was after a session of teaching and we were all standing there while the song “Magnificent” was being sung. I was standing right in front, I remember it well. As we were in that ‘worship mode’ I heard the words “Step Forward”. Now I am not in the habit of making a fool of myself (in fact I would do everything to avoid being a fool). And I look around me to see if anyone was addressing me. I mean I was standing in front and all. If I step out of the line I will be noticed. Anyway after what seemed like a real long time, I decide okay what can go wrong if I do a small step forward.

I step and as I step its almost as if I went somewhere or connected to something. I cannot explain it, but I was in front of God (The Father) and I hear three words…..”I forgive you”.

Simple hey. Now I was a christian for about 6 years before then already. One would think that is elementary things and why on earth would God go to all that trouble to simply tell me those three words (I wonder that myself). But though it had meaning then, when I sit and think back on the things God said and did, well they have more meaning and depth to them now.

At that time, I had just broken up with a girl, and just before that a broken engagement with the previous women. My life was pretty much a mess. Lets just say that with a whole lot of other things made me realise the state of where I was in relation to ‘perfection’. Far, far, far away from perfection that is. I think at that stage I had just reasoned that that is what life must be.

So when God says to me I forgive you, its not just what I knew intellectually until then. We all know God forgives and that He loves us. I am talking about the real forgiveness experience. The fact that He knew everything that I had done and messed up in, and was saying son I know, but its okay. I want to be with you or rather I want you to be with me. And there is a marked difference from having it told to you rather than reading it.

I suppose I am one of those people that needs constant forgiveness. I always seem to put my foot into it in some way or another. I am what one would call an experiential learner.

Well when that happened I broke down, and at that time I don’t think I could handle it. But you know when I walked away from that weekend, my life had change, a real turning point. Up until then I don’t think I really experienced forgiveness. People have told me they forgive me, but you know the actions were not always reflective of that.

It set me free and at the same time at that very moment there was a familiar knowing of Him. It as if I could sense His ancientness (if there is such a word). Like I was connecting to the power source of the universe. I can’t accurately put the experience into words.

Since then I can’t say I have messed up any less times, I never walked out from that perfect either. I just walked out and still sometimes have to remind myself that its okay, He is okay with who and where I am. He knows, but still wants me to be there with Him.

Sometimes I forget that. I hope you will realise it too, my prayer is that people find that in God as well.

THO

The Ugly Fish

I watched Oceans the move. I like watching these documentaries about nature and how they live while just going about their own merry way.

I suppose there is also the thrill of seeing the sharks, from a safe vantage point of course. What I find fascinating though, is that there are so many different types of life down there. If we never had the capability to go down there, well we simply would not know the difference. I guess we would also reason that there are monsters down there and pray that we never fall in.

But what intrigued me, is a fish that lives at the bottom of the ocean, I could not catch the name since the narration was in french (and I do not understand french). Now this fish is particularly special. In that it was extremely ugly. I mean, nothing about this fish made me want to look at further. I was tempted to fast forward, but it dawned on me.

This fish did not seem to care that it was “ugly” at least in my estimation of it. It did not sit on the rocks and compare itself to the beautiful fishes swimming by (it ate them by the way)

It never for one moment stopped living its life. Granted it never had a mirror, so it could not see itself (there must be something to that hey)

The fish went on with its “purpose” not in the least phased by what the other fishes thought of it. No doubt some fish feared it, since they would be lunch if they were not careful.

But really, I think I can learn a lot from that fish……

On a side note. I came across a rather entertaining post about a woman’s fight with mosquitoes.Click here to read it.

THO

being the first sucks when…..

Hello all

I was wondering the other day, some things would not be good to be the first at. So I thought let me try something different (and see who really is reading the blog still)

I will write a few examples of what I want to see and you can continue. Lets see how funny or ridiculous it can get.

Being the first sucks… when you are the first to discover that that snake is poisonous.
Being the first sucks when…. you discover that arsenic is poisonous to humans.
Being the first suck when…. you realise that drawing pins hurt when you sit on them.
Being the first sucks when…. looking up when birds fly above you, is not such a good idea…..
Being the first sucks when…..

Top down, sideways or bottoms up….

Today I am simply continuing the topic from monday. I want to focus on how companies are run and how to deal with the problems that are inherent in them.

You know my opinion on corporate structures and corporatism in general, so I will not delve into that today again.

Its common knowledge that the general culture of a company and ways of the employees tend to reflect the company’s CEO. Even in pastor’s they say that the spirit of the pastor is evident in the flock. Right?

What I find very strange, is that when there are issues and difficulties, the first people they try and “fix” are the employees (in a church it will be the members). If the employees are reflecting the CEO’s ways and issues crop up in the company, does it not make sense to look at the CEO? Since the whole company reflects his/her vision.

I simply cannot understand why people get down on the workers, when all they can do is work. They do not come up with the vision, therefore the issues (unless of course they are relevant to the work only) stem from on top and certainly not from the workers.

That said, what would be the ideal way to run a company if the top down approach has such limitations. My short answer, I don’t know.

Top down only works well if you have really good people at the top. Sideways (communal) only works if you have fully mature people all wanting the same thing. Bottom up (collective deciding for the leader by vote) systems do not always work since the collective tend to think they have the say on the leadership, yet ultimately it will got the top down way. Since listening to the masses does not men the masses will be happy.

Seth Godin says it well in this post of his. (click the highlighted words to take you to the original post)

I think we expect too much from organisations. We should focus more on the people in them. I know we all believe that, but I mean in real action not just words. I feel like I have jumped all over the place here, but I am sure you get what I am saying. personally I do not think any one system can fix all problems. But the people involved can certainly help the process.

THO

Identification

We live in a corporate world today. I think we accept it that way. Even churches have gone that way. We actually hope it moves that way. Businesses definitely strive for it, and personally most churches seem to want it as well.
It provides a certain level of dignity to it. It s the pinnacle of capitalism, the corporate world. When i say corporate I mean the structures used in big business. The “professional” Management, Directors and Board members.

If you look really closely, and I mean really closely, you will see something not many people see.
Corporate = Separation = Distance. Do you believe me?

Let me prove it to you. If you work in a company that has a CEO, when last have you sat down with him/her and just ate lunch for no other reason than just lunch. Do you act the same as you would around everyone else when you sit with your manager?
When you speak to a director to you talk normally? You do not. Because somehow they are not the same as you. Look obviously if you are the manager and CEO or director then this should be flipped around for you. DO you as the top end of the structure allow people to be themselves around you?

The more a business depends on these structures to exist the greater separation it allows between its employees.
For one CEO’s do not park near the normal employees and therefore there is very little chance of even connecting on the off chance that they work at the same times. So you might say so what, it is that way.

I do not doubt that it is that way, I just have very little respect for the way it is. If you run a company (or whatever) you provide a function and thats it. It does not inflate your level of importance. Everyone plays a function in whatever the company sets out to do. Therefore as a human you have no less significance as the next one.

I think the problem arises in that most of us link who we are with what we do. Nothing could be further from the truth. Example : Sir Isaac Newton failed more times than he succeeded, does that make him a failure? No it does not, because within him was the will to succeed and that overcame the failure on the outside.

I promise you that you are who you are, you are not defined by what you do. Until you get that, you will simply never understand what I spoke about earlier.

Anyway, what I wanted to get at is, we have this corporate world and we seem to accept it as the norm. What we miss is identification. You know what I mean?

People at the top identifying themselves as one with the “lower”. Letting people actively know that they are the same as them. We are all connected in someway or another. Neither one is more important than the other. It may feel that way, but in reality there are no more important people than others. Please I beg of you to take that to heart. Absolutely nothing makes someone more important than you other than you.
We are “allowed” to think that there is something wrong with us. There is nothing worse to me than knowing that something is wrong and the management of a company do anything to avoid it coming out. In my case what I mean is that I know certain things are wrong, yet when i approach it I get told about the company’s policies and so forth. I am well aware of the policies, but what I want to see is acknowledgement. And in my experience even if there are stipulations given by the top, they do allow for you to make it your own. Therefore I think the system and its policies are sometimes just used to cover a lazy person’s tracks.

At least acknowledge that sometimes the system sucks. So managers, CEO’s, directors if you are out there reading this. At least acknowledge the failures of the system, it numbers you as one with the people and I promise you, you might even get more out of your staff. Going the other way of chucking the levels at people simply insults their intelligence and ultimately will not provide the outcomes you want.

If you are not interested in me as a person and only care about what I can do for your company, why should I care about your company?

THO