Too many atrocities May 24, 2013Posted by thehutch in ponderings.
Tags: atrocity, daggers, gangs, horror, knives, Lee rugby, london, news, press, reporting, woolwich, youth
add a comment
The murder of Lee Rigby was and is an atrocity that should not be tolerated in this nation. It is appalling and has rightly made headlines. However, I am concerned that so many other atrocities such as this do not have the same impact. The 152 teenagers killed in knife incidents in London between 2005 and May 2013 have seen very few with the same publicity as the events in Woolwich this week. Why is that? Is it because of religious connotations, race connotations, ferocity of the attack, type of attack or a mixture of all of them? Why have we become seemingly cold to some of these things?….some only having cursory comment in the media.
How can we tolerate these things? Below is a map pinpointing the teens killed by knives since 2005 in London (just teenagers..not adults)
How do you feel seeing this? Does it stir your heart? Does it make you weep? Come on people, we need to do something! We need to pray! We need to act! This is too many lives….I, for one, want to make a difference
grace explosion May 22, 2013Posted by thehutch in personal.
Tags: future, God, grace, hope, personal, tiredness
1 comment so far
In 1 Kings 18, Elijah is on the mountaintop and seeing great blessing as he serves God, yet just a chapter later he is in despair. Last week, I was in chapter 18 but the last 3 days have been a chapter later and I have been despondent, like Elijah, wanting to run away from my ministry and hide. It has been a struggle and so this morning, I decided to go and sit in a public area away from my office.
As I walked to a seat, I was pleading with God to give me a sign that this ministry was worth it, that it was worth persevering, to give me a sign of hope. On sitting down, and with immediacy, the raven fed me. A man came up to me on his mobility scooter and began a conversation. It was a conversation when the man quickly opened up about his life, both good and bad, and over 30 minutes or so we were talking about Christ, forgiveness and hope for the future. It was an important conversation – as he said goodbye there was the opportunity to pray for him and he promised to go away and reflect on what we spoke about.
Like Elijah being fed by the raven, God was feeding me with hope. This ministry is worth it, it is worth persevering and this conversation was that slither of hope that I had cried out for. God’s grace was not just apparent, it exploded in these moments. An explosion of grace…beautiful!
What is going on? May 20, 2013Posted by thehutch in ponderings.
Tags: battle, change, fight, hope, institution, joy, justice, leadership, organisation, patience, truth
add a comment
Do you ever get a day where all sorts of things are happening around you but none of it makes sense? It can be quite off putting, especially when you have a personal clarity and everything else that others throw in seems to be ‘skewed’ to you but so clever to them.
Life can be like that, there is unlikely to be a seismic shift that changes the landscape, you just have to knuckle down and accept it, hard though that seems, or get out and do something different.
It may appear wise to think outside the box but the box still exists, where possible you have to enlarge the box so that the bigger world you dream of is attained or remain content and do nothing. That is organisations and the life they espouse. Don’t waste time fighting, if necessary spend time changing, even when the journey seems long and hard, even when you feel that you do not fit, even when you feel alone. In time, it will be worth it, stick with it, be patient and, in the meantime, fight for what is right and what is just. Seriously, it will be worth it.
You are not alone May 18, 2013Posted by thehutch in thoughts.
Tags: alone, depression, Elijah, faith, hope, loneliness
add a comment
Sat on a train travelling to a conference an pondering on a few things from the life of Elijah.
I have regularly spoken on 1 Kings 18 and 19 but only today have I noticed that Elijah used the same expression in both strength and weakness. In 18:22 and 19:10, he refers to being the only prophet left – one leads to a major spiritual battle were Elijah stands for God in the tumult, a place of strength, yet in the 2nd instance the belief that he is alone leads him into a cycle of depression.
Elijah was not alone but it does raise some interesting thoughts for me. One day our understanding may lead to great victory whilst the next it may be our downfall. Something to ponder.
The great news is that Elijah was not alone…7000 others. Wow.
Even better to know that ‘we are not alone’…God has preserved others who have not given in to false gods…not alone. All this happened in Gods knowledge and presence – God is at work, whatever the day brings! Hallelujah
Hybels, up willow creek with a paddle May 16, 2013Posted by thehutch in notes, ponderings.
Tags: 2013, bill hybels, Htb, leadership, leadership conference, team, teamwork, thoughts
add a comment
One of the sessions at the conference was led by Bill Hybels. He shared some good stuff that was good to hear again and refreshing in its clarity and directness.
Part of his talk was dealing with the need to attract, develop and retain a good team and he used his “5Cs” to good effect. They are:
He suggested that, if even one of these is compromised there will be issues on your team and that it is imperative that the leader takes time to ensure these 5 things align.
Some of the sound bytes are below:
“It is not illegal to like the people on your team”
“A high capacity person under challenged will leave”
“The best thing you bring is a Holy Spirit filled you”
‘A contrarian point of view is ok, a contrarian spirit is not’ (paraphrase)
Teamwork Sucks? May 15, 2013Posted by thehutch in church, ponderings.
Tags: 5 dysfunctions of a team, conference, Htb, leadership, Lencioni, presenter, team, teamwork
add a comment
One of the reasons that encouraged me to attend the HTB Leadership Conference was the attendance of Patrick Lencioni. I enjoy his writings and appreciate his communication style. In truth, I received far more all round than anticipated, the Conference was superb.
Lencioni did not let me down. On the 2nd day he spoke about team and used material from his book, the The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable (J-B Lencioni Series)“
If you have read the book, you may well know his headings and the leaders role;
1) Absence of Trust – the leader needs to be vulnerable to the team
2) Fear of conflict – the leader needs to embrace difference of opinion
3) Lack of commitment – the leader needs to bring clarity and decision
4) Avoidance of accountability – peer accountability to be encouraged and difficulties confronted
5) Inattention to results – focus on what you are trying to achieve
His talk was excellent, inspiring and full of content. There were plenty of nuggets to steal away and if you missed it, buy the book, you will not regret it.
Free gifts for anyone May 14, 2013Posted by thehutch in thoughts.
Tags: conference, free, freedom, giving, grace, Htb, leadership
add a comment
The HTB leadership conference (2013) has been a good one. At some point, I may get around to writing some notes but there was one thing that has struck me. The willingness to give things away.
The event is staged well, the standards are high, yet the willingness to ‘give it up’ and ‘hand it out’ has been wonderful. Live stream, free to any who have Internet connection, use of buildings…even when they could be closed to prepare the next event, the helpfulness of the stewards, the time given (even in tiredness) of team members.
These folk know how to give ‘free gifts’ and they are for anyone…a lesson for us all.
Assumption Destroys Team May 13, 2013Posted by thehutch in ponderings.
Tags: Assumption, leadership, team
add a comment
Many years ago, I remember laughing at the phrase;
“If you assume, it will make an ass of u and me”.
For a few days, assumptions ceased and communications increased but this did not last long. At a conference (on the subject of leadership) and chatting to a few folk have made me realise that one of the biggest trouble spots for leaders is the assumptions they make regarding their teams, team members and the people with whom they interact.
‘We thought you would be too busy‘, ‘we believed that you would not be interested‘ and the list goes on. These kind of assumptions can sometimes be right but there is also a danger that regular assumption can lead to fractures of trust and thereafter a breakdown of the team.
Assumptions can be dangerous, it is always more wise to know the facts and the best way to know the facts may be by asking people directly. That wise saying that once made me laugh has more truth in it than many of us wish to believe.
Bible verses that sting me (part 2) May 5, 2013Posted by thehutch in ponderings, thoughts.
Tags: action, bible, christian, lifestyle, tough, verses, words
add a comment
So it is time to reference the next verses that challenge my very soul.
Matthew 6:14-15 (NIV)
For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
Oh my! How challenging are these words? So often these words seem to be ignored by many Christians when we refer to conflict and the need for reconciliation, they are tough words to hear and, in my opinion, tougher to enact.
I find that it is much easier to pray for those who persecute me, easier to ‘love’ my enemies but forgiveness is so much harder. How on earth do you ‘let go’ and remember their sins no more? Is it right to? As a Christian, it is liberating to know that Jesus will forgive my sins and if my reading is correct, they are also forgotten when that forgiveness is received, though my sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow. I struggle with these verses in Matthew 6.
When reading the Old Testament narrative of Joseph, we see a man who goes through utter torment and also great blessing. He has fun with his brothers and concludes by saying, ‘what you intended for harm, God intended for good’ – what a beautiful expression. Joseph sees the bigger narrative than the one he lives, he sees the greater narrative of God himself. It is the gospel enacted,refreshing, challenging and liberating, but still, I struggle to behave this way myself.
I am fortunate that there are not many people where there is a struggle to forgive wrongs done but there are a couple (still too many). This struggle leaves me straining in the depths of my soul and I have all the excuses….’but they never said sorry’, ‘their behaviour has not changed, so why should I forgive’ etc. etc etc., yet, these arguments are weak if I want forgiveness, There is need to forgive too! Ouch! The truth is, there are people who may well feel the same about me, there are bound to be those whom I have hurt, knocked down and bruised, would I desire forgiveness from them? Of course, yet that seems easier to deal with than when things are in reverse.
I have not arrived there yet but will try. Time is a healer although one day the timer runs out…..my prayer is that it will not be too late.
Lord, help me to forgive, help me to love as you love, that you may be praised, honoured and glorified.