Day 1: Define Your Core Values



These have gone through several iterations in the past, but having taken time again to consider this the five below stood out as my core values. It’s obvious I need to work on several of these to make them front and centre, given the ¬†reality of my life in certain areas doesn’t reflect these values. But don’t they say a problem identified is half solved?

  1. Faith: God, faith and how these interact in the real world and translate to personal and worldview integrity.
  2. Family : Nuclear and the future family ūüôā
  3. Continuous Improvement: In three main areas Рprofessionally, relationally and in delivering on the stated objective of contributing to life in the civic space. The intent is to actively seek out opportunities to learn both formally and informally for self improvement and a broadened knowledge base; challenging myself in the three main areas identified above.
  4. Mentoring: As someone who has benefitted greatly from the input of knowledgeable others both in my personal and professional life, taking an active interest in the lives of others with the aim of improving them is something I want to do more of.
  5. Health and Healthy Living:¬†The ‘rigours’ of being a hands on rustgeek demand that I pass a medical exam every two years. The numbers from the last check in 2013 were a real wake up call – no thanks to shed loads of pizza and salt. That prompted a rethink and serious action to get the weight and junk food binges down to good effect. Getting healthy, staying healthy, leveraging technology to identify and eliminate risk factors and all the little decisions that feed into that has to be be more of a focus going forward.

Joshua Harris on ‘Sanctuary Moments’

Joshua Harris on ‘Sanctuary moments’ (ones where God steps into our lives to impact change in us) from the message ‘Is He Enough? (New Attitude 2004) [mp3]

‚Ķ I am not advocating for you that you wait for some sort of mystical experience. I want you to have a sanctuary moment here at new Attitude, but you know what, that’s not going to look like some moment in worship where God just wipes you out, knocks you on the floor, takes away your desire for marriage and sex, and really fills you with a hatred for the opposite sex and you stand up and say I’ve had my sanctuary moment. No‚Ķ

It means obeying James 4:8 which says come near to God and he will come near to you. wash your hands you sinners, purify your hearts you double minded. It means getting serious about rooting sin out of our lives, it means getting serious about turning away form worldliness, and double mindedness. It means reading and studying god’s word. It means seeking god with all your heart, it means pursuing him in prayer, it means embracing fellowship in a local church, and all of these things are the means and the actions by which we can live not just sanctuary moments, but sanctuary lives.

RIP Steve Jobs…

That iconic 2005 Standford Commencement address again..

What I learned:

  • Do not be afraid to start again: Apple, NeXT, Pixar and then Apple again?
  • Keep every decision, and every action in perspective of what’s truly important
  • Find what you love, love what you do, and excel at it.
  • Never underestimate the importance of any experience, the dots only appear to line up in hindsight
  • Do YOU!

Definitely one to file in my ‘Ideas for life‘ folder alongside Dennis Prager’s at Pepperdine University and John Legend at The University of Pennsylvania.

Full text from the Standford University website.

Al Mohler on Vocation

A few weeks ago, ‘Jane Doe’ prompted some deep thinking by Single Nigerian, leading him to ponder¬†if trying now and then was enough when others had sacrificed things (even their lives) to ‘get the word to the common man.’

I was listening to an old message by Al Mohler¬† –¬†Being Men and Raising Men [mp3] ¬†–¬†whilst walking to work today, ¬†and a section [begins at 51;11] struck me as being a very apt answer to that question.

Money Quote:

The disconnect between labour and reward is one of the most unbiblical manifestations of the confusion of this culture. We must teach our sons that they are expected to work, and that labour is by God’s design followed by reward. And the reward is more than money and more than material; ¬†it is the satisfaction in a man’s heart of knowing he has done something to the glory of God.

There is the temptation for some men to say, “You know, I¬†can see what he does. ¬†He gets to do great things ¬†for the glory of God, the world gets to observe him and see him in what he does, the church gets to¬†celebrate¬†that, but all I do is this! ”

Whatever¬†you do, do to the glory of God……. There are no little people, there are no little places, there are no little jobs in the kingdom of God. You will never know what life you were touching by your honesty as an¬†accountant, by your steadfastness as a police officer, by¬†your integrity as a teacher. You will never know how the glory of God is shown until in eternity you are given a glimpse of how God worked through you.

Questioning the answers..

Having passed several chronological milestones, one increasingly has had to field questions that assume that all the basic competencies required to function as an independent contributor to life in various spheres have been achieved. Invariably these often centre on the achievement of academic, financial, material and career milestones. Amidst the focus on these admittedly essential categories is a lack of focus on the attainment of certain critical thinking skills.

I subscribe to the belief that a child is born with a blank worldview –¬† the so called tabula rasa.¬† Over time he/she acquires knowledge about life; typically by experience.¬† The child thus builds up a worldview- religious, social, cultural, sexual even.¬† At it’s most basic, this worldview is a set of answers for what constitute good, bad, the why of life, meaning, etc. Of necessity, these answers have to be gleaned from others in the early days – parents and relatives, peers, civic and religious leaders and teachers.

At some stage in the development of the child – as the kid morphs into a young adult –¬† these acquired answers require testing to verify that their base assumptions and conclusions remain valid in the light of the continuously evolving social, religious and cultural space. Therein lies the problem – the vast majority of people are not trained, or are unwilling, to question the answers they have been raised by. When juxtaposed with the critical role these young adults, when they morph into parents, have to play in moulding the thinking of the next generation, it¬† becomes critical for them to get it right.

Truly mature young adults thus have a responsibility to themselves and the next generation to ask the big questions and investigate the answers they have acquired. There should come a time when “because I said so” should no longer suffice as a reason for the answers we carry. Only then can the bloke truly lay claim to having come of age.

Holiness is A Harvest..

Spent the weekend listening again to Joshua Harris message from New Attitude 2002 – Holiness is A Harvest. Truth is I have not devoted as much time to learning God as I have to say blogging, chasing my romantic interests and stuff like that. It’s a rude reminder that if I say I want to know God, the basic Spiritual Disciplines need to be in place! An action item from my RA involves taking bible study more seriously. I need to jump on it ASAP..

Scared….. Of God?

I have ranted and raved for a while now about not feeling a real world passion for God, and rightly so. But in the last few days, I have finally gotten to start reading Gordon McDonald’s Forging a Real Faith and Francis Chan’s Crazy Love and I am scared. Scared of what I might see when I finally peek through the door. I suspect that there is so much I will see that my real world life, a lot of the nascent parts of my worldview will be totally altered. That thought is sobering and rightly so. I can see clearly that my view of God has been totally defective; Great in my head, but not in my heart, having the right answers but not the right attitudes, going through the motions without a real sense of awe. I am scared, but I’m still plodding on…. There’s more to life, and I want to see it!