Label shorthand

Labels are just short hand to save time in description. The trouble is when we start living up to the stereotype of that label. I have also posted a link to Georginas blog take “a dip in the deepend” you might label her a feminist, but that would just be lazy shorthand.

Constructive Deconstruction

Bill Vaunghan said “if there is anything the nonconformist hates worse than a conformist, it’s another nonconformist who doesn’t conform to the prevailing standard of nonconformity”. I have been thinking about my journey and how much easier it is to deconstruct ideas, situations and concepts than offer alternatives. I can be hard on people who don’t offer suggestions or new approaches. Maybe critism is just that and constructive critism is when suggestions for change are offered. Disillusionment and dissatisfaction are powerful tools for change, but can easily promote inertia. Time for more constructive deconstruction, me thinks!

…..afflict the comfortable

Today I went to a conference on Funding in the South West. It was generally very good and amongst other things we heard from the CEO of the Big Lottery Fund, which has replaced the New Opportunities Fund and Community Fund. The new young people’s fund has been launched £200million to be distributed – priorities on Disadvantage, Proven young peoples involvement at all levels, Innovation, Demand led. Although some big questions raised on how much may be top sliced from the overall Big Lottery Fund (£600million) if London wins it bid to host the Olympics.

There was also a really good introduction to fundraising session by Jonathan Farnhill who used to work at the Salmon Centre. I also went to a session on income generation which had some good inputs. We were told that the slides from the workshops would be going up on web at but I haven’t seen them there yet. Two great quotes Jonathan used:- “Art is not a mirror to reflect reality but a hammer with which to smash it� Brecht. Secondly from Gilbran “If you cant comfort the afflicted – afflict the comfortable�

This worked surprisingly well

I ran this session at a group in Bristol recently as was surprised it went down so well. It was quite risky as I didn’t know the group well. Hearing God in the world.doc

I am off to do a session at the Youthwork conference tomorrow and came across the following image. It has been a fairly mixed up process in preping for the conference and still unsure how I feel so thought the image quite apt.

Heresy understood

I came across a quote by Soren Kierkegaard who said “life is lived forward but understood backward�. On one hand it could be just hindsight, but I like the intentionality of living your life forward, rather than just passing through. I have posted up the info about The FaSt Game which we developed over 5 years ago. At the time I was getting loads of stick for wanting to call it a form of church. It is interesting reading the reviews it got at the time and how there was nothing else like it around. In some ways they still isn’t, but to call it what it was designed to be is no longer heresy. Or have I just got thicker skin than all those years ago?
The Fast Game.doc

Meet them where they’re at

I thought it was time for a story. So I have nicked an extract from a friend’s recent preach, it is great and for all you Donovan fans out there (Vincent not Jason) this one’s for you. a 19-year-old American called Bruce Olsen who went to live among the Motilone Indians in Colombia, South America in order to tell them about Jesus. It took him four years before he was accepted into the tribe and learned their language and all the time he wanted to try and explain what he knew about God. His initial attempts were met with indifference – the Motilone Indians listened politely but they saw God as an idea that Bruce had brought with him from America – part of Bruce’s culture. Their attitude was – that’s fine if it works for you but what’s it got to do with us. They couldn’t see how God was relevant to them. So Bruce began to look for ways to explain what he believed about God that would connect with their culture. He discovered that there was a Motilone legend about a man who had become an ant. This man had been sitting on a trail after a hunt and noticed some ants trying to build a home. He wanted to help them to build a good home so he started digging in the dirt. But because he was so big and so unknown the ants had been afraid and had run away. Then quite miraculously he had become an ant. He thought like an ant, looked like an ant and spoke the language of an ant. He lived with the ants and they came to trust him. He told them one day that he was not really an ant but a Motilone and he had once tried to help them improve their home but he had scared them. The ants said their equivalent of ‘no kidding? that was you?’ And they laughed at him because he didn’t look like the huge and fearful thing that had moved the dirt before. But at that moment he was turned back into a Motilone and began to move the dirt into the shape of a Motilone home. This time the ants recognised him and let him do his work because they knew he wouldn’t harm them.

I have tried to upload the Meet them where’re at powerpoint that I use for detached work training. If anyone has problems then let me know, as this is the first one I have done.
Meet them where theyre at.ppt

Exploring dissatifaction

Apologies for the lack of blogs, half term and not been around much. Been looking at John Walkers post on the 24th Oct some great comments and posting, all sorts of stuff about motivation and new. I am astounded by the constant push for new when we haven’t really got our heads around the opportunities for personal growth in the present, let alone the past. John’s post (please read and the comments by following the link) reminded me of an artist friend of mine who adapted a piece of art he heard about (don’t you love third hand stuff). Anyway my mate turned his shed into an artwork. He cut a square hole in the roof and framed around the inside. Put a reclining chair in the shed, so when you sat down and looked up you saw this patch of sky framed as a picture. So often there is so much out there we miss how amazing each part is, or become dissatisfied with our part and fail to realise the value it has. Whilst this may be vague I cant help but connect it with Johns story in the Indian take away, and how much depth there is still to be explored from where we are, if we take the time to frame the right questions, and meet with others who may help find the answers, or at least help with more questions.