The main focus of this BLOG, is to uphold those simple, and clearly defined truths, that are so often missing from Christian life and conversation.
(There may also be the odd film or book review along the way as well as stories from my life)
If you wish to use material from these posts, you may do so, but please respect the work of the writer. Proper attribution, and accurate quoting that is faithful to the context is appreciated.

Wednesday, 31 July 2013


I've been thinking about this word a lot the last couple of days. What does it mean to be intentional. Early in July I had a conversation with  a young guy from Queensland. We were at Hillsong Conference and I was asking him about his first experience of the conference. His reply was along the lines that, even though he knew the music etc and a lot else about it, he was now seeing first hand how it all worked. His comment stuck with me. "Everything is intentional." I can tell you from my numerous years at Hillsong Conference, most of them spent serving or volunteering in some capacity. That every thing is done with intent, it is thought out and planned beforehand. From the production values, crowd movement, everything, even something as mundane as putting a pamphlet or brochure on a seat. It is thought out first.
So thinking this week, about what it means to be intentional, actually caused me a few problems. So occupied with these thoughts, that I wasn't really focusing on my work. Which led to a few errors, predictable and avoidable. I was being un-intentional. Ironic huh!
So what does it mean to be intentional?
What does it mean for my writing. Do I write with intent or do I just write when the mood takes me? In the case of a novel I'm currently writing, (probably more of a novella).  Do I just do as Stephen King does and just flog it out, let it flow, and then tidy it up in the edits? Reading a book on writing, it occured to me that I needed to write profiles for my major characters, and, because the world of the story is fictional, I had to write it's character as well. Why? Because I didn't know my characters, well I did sort of, but I need to know them, in order to tell their stories, it also helps me to tell you, the reader, who they are.
Actually, I realised, it's research. If I'm going to write something, I need to know who and what I'm writing about.
Now, I can begin to write intentionally.
A lot of people say "oh I'd love to write a book one day" well they have to start. They have to be intentional.
Just having a bit of a plan, that won't do it. Having a bit of a go, that doesn't cut it either. You have to commit to the process, see it through to completion, and make sure it's the best you're capable of.
It's the same with everything in life really, you don't try marriage, you don't just have a go, try it and see, run it up the flagpole and see who salutes it.
As a wise man once said "do, or do not, there is no try" (Mr Myagee, Karate Kid).
We can't live life without resolve, without commitment, unfocused, going where the mood or the breeze takes us. No, our course must be set. Our direction focussed. Yes there is a certain amount of adventure and discovery in life, but adventures should be planned, or they turn into rescues. Discovery should have a purpose attached to it. If it doesn't add something to us then it's just entertainment, we've discovered nothing.
So to live with intention, to have a sense of purpose and destiny, that's the key. Otherwise we're just doing things to fill the gaps and fight off boredom. I'd rather not write my bucket list just yet, I've got too much to do.

Monday, 22 July 2013

Getting it right

A few days ago I was about to post a review of the movie Pacific Rim. It's just as well I didn't, because I had it wrong. I had forgotten the golden rule of non-fiction writing. Do your Research.
The importance of this was highlighted to me again just today. When friends started posting a horrendously erronious, online report, of the Wellington tremor on the weekend. That's Wellington New Zealand by the way.

The report appeared in an online publication, guardianlv.com it placed all the towns mentioned in Australia, and even quoted a source, a newspaper, that doesn't even exist. Very poor journalism.
After realising their woeful gaffe the publication issued an apology and correction, but decided to keep the article visible in the name of "journalistic integrity".

You can imagine the howls of derision that erupted, not just in the comments section, but also from myself, almost.

I was all ready to go on the attack. Especially after I read through some of their website, I was baying for blood. And it would be so easy to do, to pull someone down in my veil of smug superiority.

 But then I took time to think about it, which is always a good idea.

Journalistic integrity. That's a big claim, in light of the inaccuracies that were posted as "news".
But they were right. They owned their mistake, not afraid to let it remain for the world to see, swallow a bit of humble pie and say "yep, we got this so wrong". That takes guts.
So good on you guardianlv.com you showed integrity.
And thank you for reminding me, that the research, is so important.

If you're interested here's a link to the article.

Why not add a word of encouragement to the comments section. At least they owned up to it, which is more than a lot of print journalists are willing to do.

Monday, 8 July 2013

The Temporal Illusion

When did bling become everything?

Have we developed an imbalanced approach to things that don't last?
The newest fad in a celebrity mag. Are they useful tools or toys that distract?
The latest consumer must haves, the need that misleads.
Like Bowerbirds and Jackdaws, littering our nests with the pretty and glittery.
They never satisfy because someone's always got a newer one, bigger one, better one.
Our unhealthy obsession with wood hay and stubble, It'll all stay behind, buried in the rubble.
Identity is lost in the last thing while we scrabble to buy the new.
To maintain our fleeting grasp on currency. Lost in the need to individualise, to stand out, we drown in the crowd.
Buying in to this corrupted, consumerist reimaging, we sell ourselves.

Celebrity status is a delusion of fame, no person more important than any other name.
Should never demand special exclusive treatment.
But still they do because we say it's so.
We build the pedestal lofty and high, pulling them down when they fail to fly.
They're human after all, did we really think they couldn't fall?
The sad side effect of the popularity drug, they cloak themselves in security.
Fanatical obsession pushes them into fearful sad isolation.
As the limelight fades, trying to fan the flame that burned bright.
But it's too late, we've moved on.
They once looked new.
Stay the same or change, it's a losing game.

And the church is not immune to this roundabout ride.
It's our broken nature a fault we can't hide.
Copy the world and play the game.
Put all your stock in the one's with fame.
We hurt the one that gave us His name.
It's not about me, are the words that set free.
Jesus told us "what to expect if you follow me"
It won' t be easy, it can get kind of rough.
Don't waste your time on all sorts of stuff.
Set someone else before yourself.
Not to lift them high, but to help them up.

Life's not about the things we collect, the things that don't last.
Their importance is fleeting, it happens so fast.
Eternity measures the things that add up.
Are they lasting and precious or just about us?
What did we count as important and real?
Mere riches on earth?
Well that's not the deal.