Wednesday, 27 May 2009

#assk64: Trending

Finally, I am "trendy", and was ahead of fashion!

The website "64 words for Aung San Sui Kyi" launched yesterday evening at 9.30pm (GMT), and I was only the second person to Tweet using the hashtag #assk64. Working late on something, I watched it start to take off, particularly once @SarahBrown10, @jimmycarr and @eddieizzard started tweeting about it.

Trending Topic
The image to the left is a screenshot from Twitter in the last 10 minutes, showing that #assk64 is now the third most popular topic on Twitter right now - that's pretty impressive in less than 24 hours! Most are redirecting people to the website although of course there's always a few mis-using it - ignore them!

So Where are most of the Retweets coming from?
The organisation behind this hasn't been slow in asking celebrities to post their "64 words" (although many, like me, have tweeted about it, rather than written their 64 words), and I suspect that @stephenfry (with over half-million followers) has had quite a bit to do with an extra spurt in popularity and the official @64forsuu should be worth following too! @assk64 has dropped off the top trending topics, but still plenty of activity, particularly triggered by Alan Davies this afternoon.

On the Website: George Clooney, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Vaclav Havel, David Beckham, Daniel Craig, and the British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown have all written messages of support.

The News: Waiting to see it start to appear, only 1 story in Google at the moment.

Take Action: On the website, on Twitter, or on Facebook!

Update 11th July 2009: Interestingly #assk64 is still circulating on Twitter.

#assk64 : 64 Words for Aung San Suu Kyi

Aung San Suu Kyi: 64th Birthday Coming Up

As Aung San Suu Kyi approaches her 64th birthday (June 19th 2009), and around 13 years of imprisonment, this site was created to collect hundreds of messages of support before that birthday. Created in only 6 days by Rechord, and launched only a couple of hours ago, the site already has a buzz going on Twitter, largely thanks to @SarahBrown10 (Gordon Brown's wife, he's also posted an entry, but it keeps disappearing thanks to the volume of Tweets!) and @JimmyCarr, and now @eddieizzard! You can read more about ASSK, and her fight against illegal imprisonment.

Add your voice: Website; Twitter Feed (using hashtag #assk64, let's see if we can get it trending!); become a friend on Facebook.

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Raaaaaaaaaaaarghhh: "Managing Our Anger" (J John: Week 5)

Are you angry?
Are you "temperamental": 50% temper; 50% mental?

The opening video demonstrated how violence starts in the heart/mind... with one vegan declaring "I can't even kill an animal, why would I kill someone!" I did wonder if anyone would admit to wanting to murder on camera, although one got close... depending on how far he was pushed/how drunk he was... to which J John added, difficult fights break out amongst those who both think they are right, and neither agrees to back down!

The interview was with Michael Campbell, formerly a boxer, and an activist in the 'troubles' in Northern Ireland, with a great hatred of the English... now the Town Centre Chaplain for Watford, and a member of the Street Angels patrol... crime has dropped by 35% in Watford since this started 3 years ago.

Not a huge fan of the sketches (apologies to those who probably spend much time thinking of the content)... which this week focused on an argument between husband/wife over possession of the TV remote control!

The sixth commandment is simple... murder is a serious crime which once committed cannot be undone, and appears in many different terminologies (e.g. manslaughter, serial killing, etc.) in the newspapers on a daily basis. The term "Road Rage" made it into the Oxford English Dictionary in 1997, and of course there are associated terms such as 'Air Rage'. 42% of those in the UK workforce noted that they have been yelled at at work, with many reduced to tears.

Is culture to blame?
Violence is pumped into our culture by the megatons... e.g. films such as Die Hard are not constructive models of anger management! We can also break this commandment through passive action - e.g. if we see someone freezing/hungry and do not help them out, we may be letting them freeze/starve to death.

J John tackled the tricky subject of abortion: "Abortion is wrong even if it is a right", arguing that the Bible clearly states that life is valuable from the moment of conception. He prayed for those who may still be struggling with grief/guilt/fear over having had an abortion - as 40 million do every year globally.

Does it have to get physical?
It's not just about inflicting physical pain, but actions and attitudes can cause harm, e.g. grudges, resentment and prejudice, etc. Our language is full of venom: e.g. "Drop Dead", and "If looks could kill". J John argues that there is a thin line between violence of feeling and violence of action, and its often with those that we care most about that we get the most angry with/hurt the most.

What Kind of Anger do you Have? (or a mix?)
The Maniac: Do you explode? "Temper is the one thing you can not get rid of by losing"; "People who fly into a rage usually make a bad landing"; "Those who blow a fuse may be in the dark"; "be flexible and you won't get bent out of shape".
The Mute: Do you silently steam, whilst pretending to feel no anger? Those who hold anger tend to bury it alive, and the body feels its effects (e.g. heart attacks, digestive problems, etc.)
The Manipulator: Retailiates with underhand techniques, using sarcasm and hurtful humour.

Principles to Survive
  1. I need to admit my anger (if we don't talk about it, we'll take it out on others; there is justifiable anger - the Bible is full of stories of God/Jesus expressing anger, and we need to seek to do the same - express it non-destructively)
  2. I need to deal with my anger immediately ("You can't shake hands with a clenched fist" "Those who fight fire with fire end up with the ashes". Don't give a piece of your mind (you may not be able to afford to lose it), but seek to be a peacemaker. It takes more inner strength to forgive than retaliate... let God give justice).
  3. I need to understand anger (Anger usually covers a hurt, which covers an expectation, which covers a need... need to uncover these).
  4. I need to stop and think before I speak (If you speak when you're angry, you'll probably make the best speech you wish you'd never made)
  5. I need to ask God to fill me with his Holy Spirit (seek self-control, asking God to influence thoughts, words and actions; society tries to reform people, Jesus can transform)
Don't let your anger get out of control!

Wearing the Cross
Jesus stretched out his arms to embrace us all... God allowed his Son to be murdered for all - including those who have murdered others.

On seeing a girl at the checkout wearing a cross on a chain, J John said "Oh, you're a Christian then", on looking at her surprise, he entered into a conversation, asking if she'd think it was weird if she'd seen someone wearing a pair of earrings with a gas chamber as one earring, and the electric chair as the other... both are symbols of execution. She looked disgusted, but he emphasised that that is what the Cross means - but that Jesus wore it on his back, not around his neck. He asked her to think about what it really meant, she said "it looked nice", and he said "nice was the last thing it was" - it was painful, humiliating, and that was done for us.

Before inviting people forward as usual, J John talked about the Archbishop of Milan, who as a child had been dared by his friends to go into the Confessional and shock the priest. Doing so with relish, the priest directed him outside, to look up to the Crucifix on the building, to shake his fist and say "I don't care". In front of his friends, as he started to do so, he realised what the death of Christ truly meant, and broke down in tears, before transforming his life.

See more on Just10 Winchester, 5 more weeks to go!

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

A Week Filled with Events

Palatine Conference
I made it to the afternoon of this conference. With the event sponsored by Palatine, who focus on dance and drama, I wasn't entirely sure where I was going with this conference, but was interested to see that Mike Seignior, with whom I teach on the Design for Digital Media course was heading up a workshop... so I thought, yes, a great chance to see how practice and academia intersect. Interestingly many of the people there came from a practice background and have moved into academia, whereas I come from an academic background, and have started to build up creative practices alongside my academic studies, which then start to inform them! Also an interesting TAPP workshop (which fits with life-coaching interests... see photo), and the overview of what was coming with REF (formerly RAE, so many acronyms!).

Media Studies Mini Conference
It's week 10, the week the First Years for Media Studies have been waiting for - a chance to present their work at a mini-conference. We'd set this up as a real conference, with poster boards, a schedule of presentations, and a coffee-break with proper refreshments! Thought it worked surprisingly well, as many of the students had seemed rather disengaged up til that point! Unlike many conferences, not too much danger of the students running over time...

The Big Sleep Out
(see other blog entry)

Team Training Oak Hall
Made it in time for the 11.30am session: a great chance to catch up with a few familiar faces, meet some new people, find out which trip I'm on (I'll be cooking in the Loire Valley at the end of July), and a reminder of why we truly do this - not for the "free holidays" (that's for sure, we work too hard for that!), but to serve others and give them a chance for rest, refreshment and re-engagement with God.

Andy Melrose Lecture: Jesus, Judas, Jim and John: storykeeping and the world’s shortest story.
Andy Melrose is one half of the partnership behind the Storykeepers, a 1970s series, which continues to be shown, and whose popularity continues to grow around the world. A great lecture, using a mix of modern technologies, and linking Jesus, Judas, Jimi Hendrix and John Lennon in interesting ways (makes me not feel so unusual for being able to make such random connections!). Afterwards was a great chance to meet up with some old faces, talk to a few friendly faces to see if there is potential for more interesting work in any area, and random talks to people who may yet become future connections - noticeably a number of people from Cultural Studies, Creative Writing and Religious Studies in attendance.

Out There Networking Event
This is the pitch which teased us in:

In this talk, Dr Stephen Thomas will explore how recent developments in digital biology are set to have even more profound social impacts on everything from longevity to identity itself. These developments are different in kind to what has gone before, for they are about us, not just our surrounding technologies.

Did you know, for example, that you don't own your own DNA? 
How come I have less DNA than an amoeba? What will it mean to be 500 years old? What is 'personalized medicine'? Where will my digital identity begin and end? Is my brain me? Is morality pre-determined? Will there be room left for religion? Is science boring?

Certainly thought provoking, and clearly a number of different interests engaging with his discussions (which come from a pharmacology/genome research perspective), and was pleased to note another scientist who thinks that the world looks so complex that there must be something behind it, and rejects Dawkins arguments!

Conference to Come
Abstract selected for a conference in Wales.

Monday, 18 May 2009

Winchester Cathedral: My Second Home?

Been spending a lot of time at Winchester Cathedral at the moment... on Friday night, I was there for "The Big Sleep Out" (which I'd probably rename the Big Rough Out as it didn't involve a whole lot of sleep! The photo above is of me looking like the Michelin woman, Charly strapped into her sleeping bag, and Amanda well prepared with plastic sheeting!

The event was officially running on a wet weather plan inside the Cathedral, rather than the Cathedral grounds, and plenty of people took advantage of this, finding the warmest spots, inflating airbeds and campbeds... how many homeless have you seen with those... good old concrete is what we were looking for! I know several who stayed outside ALL night, but although we started outside, it started to rain around 2.30am, so we bolted for the Cathedral... which was very cold, and the floor was very hard (and quite damp still)... but this is similar to what someone who is homeless for real would do, they would find a carpark or some such to camp out in.

Sponsor: Still time on: and a HUGE thanks to all those who have already sponsored me!
Twitter Feed for the Event:

Friday, 15 May 2009

Easy Virtue

Easy Virtue
My most recent film review for Damaris Culturewatch covers 'Easy Virtue', based on the Noel Coward play, released in the cinema in November 2008, reviewed once released on DVD last month.

Themes coverered: Masks, honesty, relationships, family, class
See full text:

P.S. For those who were wondering about outcome of "Web Development and Digital Marketing Manager" at University of Winchester, I know now that job's not for me (on both their/my part), but has led to other options, so the adventure continues!

Thursday, 14 May 2009

J John: Week 4: "Affair Proof Your Marriage"

The Videos
After reminding us that the 10 Commandments offer a "map not a track", we watched those in London, when questioned "Will an affair revitalise a marriage?" A mix of responses, but the youngest pulled a face of disgust and said "just think of all the diseases you could get" (so those public health campaigns are paying off then?), and another that modern relationships are all about 'use and abuse'. Most modern affairs start on the internet...

Perry & Heather
Perry and Heather met at a church event, and he soon had to inform her that he was a haeomophiliac who had contracted HIV via a blood transfusion. This was in the 1980s, at the height of the fear of AIDS. They told us of their story, of expecting 5 years of marriage, with no children, but have just celebrated their 20th Wedding Anniversary (although Perry has regular stints in hospital, including one 2 weeks ago - and at times plans have been made for his funeral), and have had 2 children through pioneering surgery.

Back to J John
After a beautiful rendition of the 23rd Psalm, J John came bouncing back on giving us the modern perception of the 6th commandment, which we tend to think is "You shall not admit adultery", rather than "You shall not commit adultery" - I think we'd agree there's a subtle difference there! After cracking a few more jokes (man in a fridge, anyone?), he went on to talk about that other joy - contemporary culture - where loving couples are rarely married, but are surrounded by music, laughter and sumptuous surroundings - it's all romantic & exciting, with little recognition of the tough times that come in a committed relationship.

Even when forgiven, leaves scars... it hurts and shatters trust.

Love = giving
Adultery = taking.

Marriage was designed by God in the Garden of Eden, where 2 become 1, should never be split.

Is this topic not relevant?
For most of us, having realised how we've #failed in the past 3 commandments, if we're not in a relationship, have we won at this one?! No, because affairs/lust start in the mind:

"Many people have sex on the brain, and that's the worst place to have it".

As a man followed with his eyes a beautiful woman walking past the window, his wife, without even looking up says "Was it worth the trouble you're in now?"

Thoughts -> Words -> Actions - > Habits -> Character

Practical Steps
When the Bible says 'take out your eye' or 'cut off your hand' if they cause you to sin, we're not LITERALLY talking that! If it's what you're looking at, cancel the Playboy subscription or the adult channel... by encouraging fantasy, you're encouraging reality.

If you've had an affair in the past: go for counselling (delicate/painful/needs to be done)
If you're having one now: STOP (that's all... and read Psalm 51)

Rationalising, simply means "Rational Lies".

In the story of the woman caught in adultery, Jesus commanded the woman to "Go and Sin no more"

One for the archeology dept: "Why do archeologists make the best husbands? Because the older she gets, the more interested he is in her" (boom boom)

How to maintain interest over the years:
  1. Respect
    Mutual respect: the husband should love the wife as himself.
    There's no such thing as a "perfect marriage" as it's the union of 2 imperfect people.
    "You can bury a marriage with lots of little digs."
    "Don't criticise your wife's judgement: look who she chose to marry"
    It's not about how compatible you are, but how you deal with the incompatabilities: may not necessarily see eye-to-eye, but still be able to walk hand-in-hand.
    Good communication is key (even for 'conversationally challenged' men). Women speak 35,000 words per day, men 20,000 (so they've run out of words by the time they get home!). [See a refutation of these stats]
    Need to TALK and LISTEN, 4 hardest statements to use more of:
    I was wrong
    I am sorry
    I don't know
    I need help.
    A theatre was packed full of men waiting to hear "How do you get your wife to treat you like a King?".... simple answer: "Treat her like a Queen".
  2. Responsibility
    Look to fix the problem NOT the blame: your attitude should be the same as that of Christ
    The number one problem in marriage is selfishness, too much concern for rights, rather than duties.
  3. Romance
    "If there was more courting in marriage, there'd be less marriages in court."
    "Adam should have said to Eve: you're the only girl in the world for me!"
    The Bible says "Rejoice in the wife of your youth"
    Dating was fun, so marriages should also make time for fun.
    The vicar gave a talk on "sex" (marking it as "sailing")
    The Man's Guide to Female English (never say what they mean); The Woman's Guide to Male English (it all comes back to sex).
  4. Resolve
    A recent marriage, the couple took a small candle each, lit a large candle, then blew out the small candles, signifying that there would be no more "old flames".
    J John called for all to value marriage, remaining loyal, proving faithfulness to each other.
    Life has all seasons, including its "winter seasons".
    "Trying times are not the times to stop trying"
    "Treat disasters as incidents, not incidents as disasters."
    Arches are made of 2 weaknesses, which lean against each other for strength.

To start: admit that need God and his help, as he created us, marriage, sex, etc.

A Proposal?
Every page of the Bible is a proposal to you... God's present to us was pinned to a Cross, and he doesn't woo us with perfume, but with blood, sweat and tears.

If you wanted to see a past series on DVD, see here.

Sunday, 10 May 2009

The Big Sleep Out: Winchester

Winchester: 15th May 2009

Do you feel inspired to sponsor these people who are CHOOSING to spend a night out in the cold, in the aid of those who feel they have no choice?

I'M NOT ASKING FOR BIG AMOUNTS, BUT IN TUNE WITH THE IDEA THAT SMALL CHANGES ADD UP TO BIG CHANGE(S), AM LOOKING FOR 50 PEOPLE TO SPONSOR ME WITH £2.00 EACH... of course you can pledge more if you wish... I'm just looking to get lots of people involved/raise awareness, etc.! If you'd prefer to give me the money offline, that's fine too...

Companions: Amanda Henocq Charly Norton, been chatting to Martin Tod on Twitter about it, and also from the University The Sleepy Heads!

About the charity : Winchester Churches NightshelterWinchester Churches Nightshelter
Big Sleep Out: a fundraising event in Winchester Cathedral Close, in aid of Winchester Churches Nightshelter and Trinity Winchester. Both charities are extremely stretched by high demand and need your help; so do their guests, those sleeping rough and the hidden homeless. Please support us.

Winchester Churches Night Shelter offers an essential lifeline to the homeless, providing high quality food and shelter and a secure support network offered to address problems and re-develop life skills. We are the only direct access accommodation for the homeless in Hampshire, and a vital first port-of-call for our guests. Our team of professional support workers and staff is focused on helping guests move into sustainable, long-term accommodation and escape the homelessness cycle for good. Further details:

Trinity Winchester is a day time drop-in centre that provides services for those experiencing the effects of homelessness, vulnerable housing, problems with substance misuse, mental health issues, poverty, unemployment and social isolation. Further details:
Charity Registration No 1080443

[Addition on the day: Please help get my sponsorship up to £100! It's raining, and we either sleep outside, or we sleep in the Cathedral - which will be FREEZING (a hard stone floor)... Every penny counts]

Friday, 8 May 2009

J John, Week 3: "Prosper with a Clean Conscience"

Do Not Steal

Just 10 Winchester is into it's 3rd week already, and again J John put across an uncompromising message in a humourous way! He's not getting at us, he's joining us in the daily challenge to live according to God's laws within a contemporary living space.

J John opened his challenge that stealing tends to smart small (often in the workplace), but tends to get bigger.

Ron Heather: Bus Driver
The interview this week was with Ron Heather, the bus driver from Southampton who risked losing his job in refusing to drive a bus with the Athiest poster "There's probably no God: Now Stop Worrying and Enjoy Your Life", as he felt it was against his conscience (see what Theos thought). He knew his customers well, many were elderly, he felt this message wasn't appropriate - and he was more worried about upsetting God than upsetting his bosses! The ensuing fuss gave him many opportunities for conversations with his supportive colleagues!

The Yorkshire Sketch
Every week this "elderly couple" from "Yorkshire" find interesting ways to break the commandment... this week the reasoning is that if there was a 2-for-1 offer on last week, but not this week, the shop wouldn't mind if he bought one/pocketed the other!!! Hmmm...

Back to J John
J. John bounced back onto the stage, but opens on a sombre note... many of us have been casualties of theft (J John has had his coat stolen whilst he was preaching in the past!), and financial crime in the UK costs £29 billion per annum (and he wasn't talking about MPs expenses!), with over a million reported burglaries every year. How many of you still have the Gideon New Testament give to you at school? The Gideons give away 20 million Bibles a year, of which they are pleased to say 22,000 are stolen every year!

Define Stealing: "Taking something which belongs to someone else"... and there are so many different ways to describe this in the English language that it's clearly a big problem! God is against dishonesty and demands fairness in everyday work:
  • Don't cheat/swindle when buying/selling
  • Avoid false advertising (e.g. "Ideal DIY opportunity" = needs complete overhaul)
  • Don't quote for unnecessary jobs (if it's going to just need a small part, just quote on that!)

The Inland Revenue estimate that £5000million per annum is lost in undeclared taxes/monies, with many justifying it on the basis that the government "takes too much and wastes what they have", but "if your ship ever comes in, the IR will be there to help unload it!"

Employers: Don't cheat your employees; don't take advantage; teach people what is right & fair' don't manipulate.

Employees: Obey, not only when their eye is upon you, but when they are not looking. Why is it that the majority of sick days are on Friday/Monday?!

A large cause of inflation is these (seemingly minor, but mounting) costs, which are then passed onto the consumer.

What is the 8th commandment?

"You shall not steal" not "You shall not steal more than £1 at a time" (or borrow something without any intention of returning it).

What is the biggest item of theft?

TIME: "How little can I do for how much?". J John spent a summer trying to cut grass in slow motion whilst taking endless tea breaks for an employer who kept telling him to "slow down"! I guess this is where there needs to be trust between employer (that the employee will do the work) and the employee (who has to trust that the employer won't take advantage, expecting him/her to work at a high pace all the time if they've managed it once!)

Do for others what you would like them to do for you: how do we apply this to life?

  1. By working
    Work leads to profit, talk leads to poverty (not necessarily talking about waged work)
    Too many people are keen to move the piano stool when there's a piano to be moved
    Most people are keen to avoid hard work and would rather 'pick the lock'
    The only place in which success comes before work is in the dictionary.
    Don't count the days, make the days count.
  2. By saving
    Good planning & hard work lead to prosperity (not that he was peddling the 'prosperity gospel' or at least I hope not!); hasty short cuts lead to poverty (Jesus commended the wise investor).
    Each of J John's children were provided with 3 money tins: "Spend" "Save" "Give"
  3. By praying
    God loves to give gifts, even more so when we ask him.

Generosity & Guilt
The Earth and everything in it belond to God, we only have it on loan: God loves us into change, he doesn't beat us into change!

What do we do with guilt?

  • Deny it?
  • Deflect it?
  • Drown it? (with drink/drugs/experiences)
  • NO: Dissolve it in the blood of Jesus.

Always a sticky subject, some think the church is only out for our money! Do we cheat God in our offerings? Do we think that God is happy with the occasional 50p that we give him, the Bible clearly states 10% (joyfully given in the expectation that God will provide).

When J John became a Christian aged 17, he decided to take back a couple of books he'd stolen froma book shop. The Director asked him for an explanation and asked if he realised that he could call the Police... and was then surprised when the owner told him he was "free to go"... felt totally liberated!

The Amnesty Bins
Next week, J John is wheeling out the Amnesty Bins. He set a challenge that if we've stolen something we return it to its rightful owners in the coming week... and if that is not possible, then what we stole (or its equivalent value) can be placed in the amnesty bins on the way out (what is given is either thrown as rubbish, returned to original owners if accompanied by an 'anon' note, given to charity shops, or given to homeless shelters - not a single penny taken in admin!). The first time he did this one man placed £102,000 cash in the bins, another week, a man took his shirt off on the way out!

Let's Get Practical: Have you ever:

  • Made an over-inflated/false insurance claim?
  • Called in sick when you weren't?
  • Taken office supplies?
  • Used expenses for personal use?
  • Defrauded on your income tax
  • Left a debt unpaid
  • Borrowed books without returning
  • Taken hotel bathrobes (he's always surprised by how many of these he gets!)
  • Copies of software?
  • Have you stolen from God?
Have you felt violated by theft?
You need to forgive those who have stolen from you:

Forgive & Forget, not Remember and Regret!

Be Transformed, Not Informed
The purpose of Just 10 is not to listen/be informed, but to subject yourself "to the Lord's searchlight", and reach out for forgiveness, and so be transformed! Will you?

J John says "tell your story".

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

J John: Hold to the Truth

In with the Quips
J. John started in fine style again... with a story about someone in a store who'd just said to the customer "we don't have it". The Manager bounces in, assures the customer that it was ordered 2 weeks ago, and when the customer has gone, asks the employee what they wanted.... "Rain"!

Video Clips
An interesting compilation of video clips, asking those in London if they thought it was acceptable to lie... the general consensus appeared to be that it's natural to lie, particularly if it's to protect someone!

Chris Kilby
Formerly a drug-addicted member of a band, Chris Kilby now heads up Life Church in Southampton, and was interviewed by Claire Carson about how honesty, integrity and faith are central to his life now... and nothing has ever made him as happy as God, and is continually asking God to remove anything that is in his way/prevents him geting closer.

Lies Lies Lies
  • "One Size Fits All"
  • "We're on our way"
The inventor of the lie-detector said that people basically tell lies... as kids do when they insist they haven't had biscuits (mouth surrounded by crumbs!)

We live in a society of "truth decay". 

Do you lie on your Job Application?
As a research project, a job was advertised for electricians who were specialists in 'Sontag Replicators'. They received 179 applications, although there's no such thing... 

4 students who didn't turn up for their morning's exam (citing a flat tyre) were surprised to find their teacher so relaxed. She offered them a chance to retake the test. Sitting the 4 of them in corners of the room, she said "Answer me this question...... which tyre was flat?"

Tongue Twisters
The tongue, a small instrument, capable of enormous damage!
The "sermon on the mouth".
Bette Middler famously said "I don't know how much of what I say is true"... it's become so normal in society to lie... in journalism, facts are not checked, etc.

Careless Talk Costs Lives
Gossip Ruins Lives: 
  • "Hearing something you like about someone you don't"
  • All the detail, no facts
  • Travels fastest over a sour grapevine
If someone says "I probably shouldn't tell you this", I'd suggest "Don't then!"

The Bible Warns Us Against:
  • Gossip
  • Slander (malicious untruths with the intention of doing harm)
  • Flattery (say to a person's face what you wouldn't say behind their back)
Show more GENUINE appreciation, don't flatter

Steps to Improve
  1. I need to examine my heart (what comes out of the mouth reflects this)
  2. I need to refuse to gossip (listen more, talk less, if you're not willing to sponsor it with your name, don't say it)
Say what you mean, mean what you say, but don't say it mean!

Say it if:
  • Is it true? Yes!
  • Will it benefit anybody to say it? Yes!
"Prove to Me God Exists"
Confusing between:
  • Maths (rational)
  • Science (hypothetical)
  • Personal (valid)
God is PERSONAL, to be experienced, not proved. It's like trying to describe a kiss (personal) as an exchange of molecules (rational/scientific)!

The Blackboard
"Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me" - was there ever a bigger untruth?! Names stick "on the blackboard of life". Jesus comes not to rub it in, but to rub it out!

Get to Jesus via "Kings Cross". 

Embrace the healing you can get by refusing to believe the lies that others have told you about yourselves... (whether intentional/unintentional)

Better Late Than Never
Before J. John is on stage again tomorrow night, with "Prosper with a Clear Conscience", I wanted to get this belated blog up. Week has been filled with job interview, applications, and some time out!