Skiing Holiday

Skiing in Bansko, Bulgaria

We have just got back from a very nice skiing holiday with some wonderful friends. We went to Bansko in Bulgaria – a very interesting place.

The pictures are here – I may get around to annotating them properly at some point but until now you’ll have to make do with the generic names.

Feeling Effete – Feeling Joyful

Another glorious sunset

Sometimes life conspires to make you feel a bit low. That’s me today. I try to broaden my mind so subscribe to wordsmith.ord word of the day; today’s word is effete:

effete (i-FEET) adjective

1. Worn out; no longer fertile or productive.

2. Weak, ineffectual.

3. Marked by decadence or self-indulgence.

4. Effeminate.

I have also been to the doctors this morning because I have a number of aches and pains. I am currently suffering from a sore ankle, lower back and shoulders. These things make me feel old (I’m only in my 30’s). While there we get into the classic conversation.

Doctor: “Let me look at the ankle first. That look like a form of tendenitus, it needs resting. What exercise do you do?”

Me: “Tennis once a week and walking most days, I try and get my 10,000 steps in” (the 10,000 steps a day is a big initiative in the UK encouraging people to be more aerobic)

Doctor: “Well I’m sorry Graham but you are going to have to give it a rest for a month. Now lets look at your back. Well your biggest problem their is your posture.”

Me: “Yes I know I don’t have good posture, that’s why I try and walk daily because my posture is good when I walk and that gives everything a break and a chance to straighten out.”

Doctor: “You also need to loose some weight”

Me: “Yes I know I do, but it’s a struggle which is why I try and exercise regularly”

Doctor: “Yes”

Me: “Is there some kind of exercise I can do which my ankle will be OK with but will still be aerobic”

Doctor: “No not really”

That’s about the point that the conversation break down because we are clearly in a cyclical argument. Doing exercise is a problem, not doing exercise is a problem. I’m clearly effete.

However; the Bible says that “the joy of the Lord is your strength” so I’m not going to sit and wallow in my effete because I know that I am rich beyond my wildest dreams and that makes me joyful. Now I know that some of you who know me might find that difficult to believe but I am, really. Actually the other day I was in Tesco and God showed me something and it was all I could do not to burst out laughing.

The Power of the Corporate Event – The Relationship Event

Arches

I have just watched one of the videos from u2log.com (Into the heart) and was nearly in tears seeing a boy joining Bono on the stage. Why is that?

  • Is it because I was jealous? No
  • Is it because I thought the boy was special? Sort of
  • Is it because I was empathising with the boy? Definitely.

There is something inherent in the human nature that bonds us together. I don’t know this little boy, he’s from somewhere around Chicago I suspect, but that’s all I know about him. But I have far more in common with him than not, we have a bond of humanness. This boy could easily have been my own son, Jonathan, or even me when I was younger. Both of us would have been buzzing from the experience, as I am sure this boy was.

The whole u2log is a real testament to the way in which modern blogging can bring together communities of interest in a new way, but really only reflecting our human need to connect and relate. We were made to relate.

Evening Walk by the Canal – Some Thoughts

Millennium Ribble Link

Last night while Jonathan was playing football, Sue, Emily and Myself decided that would enjoy the beautiful sunny evening and take a walk from Preston Sports Arena (where Jonathan was at football), down the Canal towards the Ribble Link, do a little circuit and come back.

There is something very special about these times. Walking and talking in a beautiful setting does me so much good. It was great. Emily was skipping along and just enjoying the sites, the sounds and the smells.

Sue and I saw the rubbish and the graffiti, Emily didn’t. She saw the little wild flowers and the grasses blowing in the breeze. It reminded me of a great book I once read Mister God, This is Anna. In the book the little girl sees the good in everything and radically changed the lives of those around her. She didn’t change any of the circumstances, she changed them. Emily was just the same last night, she revelled in the good. She delighted in the mallard ducks and their chicks. And she changed Sue and I.

Millennium Ribble LinkJust at the entrance to Ribble Link is this statue. it’’s come in for quite a lot of comment locally because the man actually looks a bit like he is urinating into the canal lock that is there.

But I love his face, it’s so characterful. He really looks like he is contemplating all sorts of things. Faces are amazing things and an artist can speak so much through a face.

I am personally quite shy of looking into others’ faces. Something in it means that I have to connect with them. It’s like I am able to see into them, and worse, they are able to see into me. But really that is what the human spirit is about, connecting, relating. Without connections we are nothing.

As a Christian I believe that God wants to come and connect with us. He wants us to look into His face and in so doing see inside Him, and he inside us. Lots of people approach the Christian faith from a rational point of view. Some of them wrestle with God to the point that God reaches them, others don’t. Personally I didn’t wrestle with God, He came and He met me. God didn’t change my circumstances, but He did change me.

Millennium Ribble LinkI include the picture of the feet, just because I like it. Big feet look strange and show us the size of the individual above.

Work Productivity Assessment

Blue Bell Wood

As part of my ongoing assessment of how I spend my time I am undergoing an assessment of where I am most productive, in the work context.

My goals in Connecting with the Purposes of God do not include a goal for work because I believe that work is an expression of my mission statement across all of my three purposes:

  • Devoting my time to discovering the mystery of God’s purpose through study, prayer and mediation and in so doing discover God’s purposes for me as an individual
  • Devoting my time to my wife and children and in so doing discover the purposes of God for the family
  • Devoting my time to the service of others and in so doing discover God’s purposes for the Cross of Jesus Christ

I have to work in the context of these, not in the context of work. Work needs to be an expression of something else, not an end in itself.

So by assessing my productive I am also assessing how the work place impacts on my ability to interact with my family and others.