02. On Insides and Outsides


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In keeping with one of my resolves this year to make a regular practice of prayer and bible reading a habit this year, I read the second chapter of Mark yesterday. In Mark’s account, Jesus forgives (and then heals) a paralysed man, calls and hangs out with Levi, a noted sinner and allows his disciples skip fasting, as well as pluck grain for nibbling on on the Sabbath. This leaves the establishment figures in a fit, their concern being that outward expressions of the law are being flouted by Jesus and his disciples.

Jesus takes a different view, insisting that the principles of the law (as evidenced by David’s eating of the priestly bread) are more important than its letter. That left me thinking about all the ways in which my extreme focus on doing, and being seen to be doing the right things can sometimes

So for this prompt, I’m taking a lesson away — focus on the insides, build true authenticity which only comes from being true on the inside. The externals will fall into place…

The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips and walk out the door and deny Him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.

01. On Resolutions

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As has been the case with every year since I can remember, I rang the new year in at church, taking the opportunity to reflect on 2016 and my plans for 2017 as the year turned.

As part of preparing for that, I took time out to reflect on where I was on achieving the wider goals that underpin the seven focus areas I have identified as part of my Life Plan. It is fair to say that it makes for gory reading, the details of which I’ll have to spare you. The cliff notes version is that, like everyone else, there are a few areas where I am pretty much where I want to be (Causes & Charity, Work & Career), a few where I have put in a decent shift (Financial, Physical & Health, People and Social) and a couple where I’ve gone backwards since the end of 2015 (Spiritual, Personal & Mental Development).

Rather than make a big song and dance about resolutions for this new year, I decided to go for a number of priorities which will guide my life and activities in 2017:

  1. S: Growing the relationship, with a formal decision on marrying the hopeful outcome
  2. Writing: Daily on here as guided by life and any of a number of prompts I follow and weekly at A Bloke’s Life.
  3. Online Radio (Radio 31): Supporting a relaunch of the Behind the Music show I was part of last year and also the launch of L’s new one, In Conversation.
  4. Church Community: Progressing the set up of a space for the young, single blokes at the church I currently serve on and prioritising monthly meetups with the two young chaps I met up with on and off through 2016
  5. Music: Learn to play the guitar and volunteering for the Christmas Carol Mass choir for 2017. I’m also minded to get more involved with one of the less traditional vocal ensembles in my local community. Not firmed this one up yet though.
  6. Diet and Exercise: Eat LCHF, complete the MapMyRun 10k training program and run an actual 10k race.
  7. Learning: About AI, neural networks and potential engineering applications, particularly in my field (Corrosion & Materials)

It is shaping up to be a critical year already. Hopefully I devise a means for regularly checking in and staying accountable to these commitments.