Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Jesus in the wilderness

I came across this wonderful, deeply real and moving video of Jesus in the wilderness. It seems appropriate to share it as we journey through Lent.

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Wednesday, 15 February 2012

How you react to criticism reveals a lot

Recently there have been a number of articles in my local paper (Herts & Essex Observer) detailing a variety of situations of possible cover up, on going criticism and the apparent arrogance of the leaders of my local council. Their response was one of ignoring or denying that anything at all is wrong. Inevitably as with all disputes and arguments the truth will lie somewhere in between.

When people criticise or question you or your organisation, responding by closing ranks, ignoring or denying any problems is a sign of weakness, arrogance and a lack of compassion - or maybe all three!
99 times out of 100 there will be a little truth (or a lot) to what the person is saying.

Wise, caring and ultimately strong leadership will want to know about any weakness or failing they have because the odds are the leaders themselves can't see these.

The alternative is a world where we hear:
  • They would say that
  • We are right you are wrong
  • If you don't agree you know where the door is
  • You need to believe/agree with this to be part of it
  • The leaders know what is best/right don't question their decisions
Is this the sort of society or culture we want to build?

Saturday, 11 February 2012

The worst of 2011?

Following on from yesterday's list of my most popular posts it seems only fair to list those posts that weren't quite so stellar. None of these posts gathered more than 10 pageviews (my last 10 posts averaged 60 pageviews). Part of the reason for the low pageviews for these post was that they were written in the early days of my blog.

So in no particular order:

Be Holy, Be British (a meditation on God's call to us to be holy)
Book Review: Team of Rivals (my review of this fabulous book about one of the great leaders - Abraham Lincoln)
Dexter (a liitle bit about my favourite TV programme)
New Music (my comments on 'new' CDs I found in my local charity shop)
What motivates us (I thought this was a great post with an inspirational video)

Have you any comments or thoughts on posts that you think were not great? I really would love to get any comments and constructive criticism if you have any. If you think that any of the posts from the above list don't deserve to be in this list let me know.

Friday, 10 February 2012

The best of 2011?

Just for fun I thought I would list my most popular posts, in terms of pageviews, in 2011. They were in reverse order:

5. I join the smartphone crowd (341 pageviews)
4. Book reading update (559 pageviews)
3. I can do that (188 pageviews)
2. Communicating Vision (631 pageviews)
1. Admin Lessons - Planning (947 pageviews)

What has been your favourite post on finger in all the pies? I would love to know what has been memorable to you.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Books of 2012

I have 17 books* on my reading list for 2012. As I finish each one I hope to write a simple review, my thoughts and feelings on each book. Last year my list was made up of 20 books and I only managed to read 11 so this year's list is still a challenge** but hopefully a bit more achievable. I have broken my list into three categories.
Fiction, History & Growth (growth refers to books that I hope will inspire, challenge and help me to grow). Let me know if you have read any of these books and what you thought of them.

Cloud Atlas - by David Mitchel
Three Men in a Boat - by Jerome K Jerome
Hombre - by Elmore Leonard
Tooth & Nail - by Ian Rankin
The ascent of Isaac Steward by - Mike French
The Road - by Cormac McCarthy*

American Sphinx the character of Thomas Jefferson by Joseph J Ellis
Six Centuries of Verse - selected and introduced by Anthony Thwaite
The War of the World – by Niall Ferguson*

You Can Change - by Tim Chester*
The Dark Night of the Soul - by Gerald D May
The Road Less Travelled - by M.Scott Peck*
The Story From The Book, from Adam to Armageddon - by Ted Miller*
Wild at Heart: Discovering the Secret of a Man's Soul - by John Eldredge*
The Practice of the Presence of God - by Brother Lawrence
Longing for God - by Richard Foster & Gayle Beebe
In the Shadow of His Wings - by Jonathan Macy

* books that were on the 2011 list
** my 17 books means I have 4759 pages to read in 2012 that works out to 13 pages a day

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