Blog blog blog

I’m on holiday this week (spending some time in Portstewart)… so I may post, or I may not… thats what being on holiday means!

In reality: I have no internet access in Portstewart (currently at home) so I can’t post!!

Til I return, may I suggest you all go out and buy a good book to read… curling up with a good book is one of the best things abour summer!

Making Ripples

I don’t want the “same old”, do you? We’ve got one shot at this deal, so I want to live with passion. I want to live with a sense of purpose… Wasn’t it Braveheart’s William Wallace who said, “All men die. Very few ever really live.”

Making Ripples

What an encouraging book! I read this yesterday (it’s quite short, a lovely wee book if your looking for something to give away as a gift). Mike Breaux, who is now a teaching pastor at Willow Creek Community Church, basically just shares his story of faith, his journey in following Jesus. He talks about how he wandered as a teen, really just played at church without knowing Jesus. He shares openly about how he grew tired of his double-life, and wanted what he saw in some other people, a genuine real-ness.

When people reflect on their lives in their old age and are asked, “What would you change if you had to live all over again?” there are three common themes that come out:

  1. They would reflect more. Slow down, savour more sunsets, eat more ice cream, laugh more.
  2. They would risk more. Take more chances. Go on more adventures. Live life out on a limb.
  3. They would do something with their lives that would live on long after their dead and gone.

Here’s a short passage from near the end of the book, which I love:

I wonder how you get into a swimming pool. Any chance you might be a toe dipper? You stick your big toe in and you go, “Wooooo, that is cold!” And then your ankles, woooo, thats cold! Then your calves, wooo; your knees, wooo; your thighs, wooo! It’s miserable!

You know what’s really the best way to do it, don’t you? Cannonball!! You take a running start, tuck up your knees, hit the pool, and water goes flying everywhere! The ripples go out, hit the side, and come back in. They go back out and they come back in….

I think that’s what God had in mind for us. He’s saying, “Trust me – jump! Make a splash with your one and only life, and we can make ripples together. Live your life in such a way that you touch someone else’s life.

I love that passage. I think I identify with it because when I go to the beach, I play this little game I call chicken. We’ll just close our eyes and run straight into the water and keep going until the coldness stops us. None of this toe-dipping business! But what am I like when it comes to relationships? I’m 100% sure I don’t play chicken with my relationships… am I just a toe-dipper there? That’s the challenge for me.

And that’s the challenge for you, too.

A Well-Read Life

well-read life

Today I sat down and read this book right through. A very very pleasurable read indeed.

One of my favourite ideas from the book is this concept of ‘superficial reading’, where Leveen encourages you not to dive straight into a book, but to spend a little time exploring it gently, probing, reading around it, before getting into the ‘meat’ of the book. Things he suggests ‘researching’ or doing include:

  • What is the authors background?
  • Is there an index or bibliography?
  • Look at the table of contents and the illustrations.
  • Read the back & front: who is the intended audience?
  • Scan the index for major topics
  • Has the book been revised or reprinted? In what span of years?
  • Read a few introductory and concluding paragraphs from each chapter (usually the major points are contained here)
  • Maybe read a biography of the author

Why does Leveen suggest doing this? Along with our own experiences, cognitive psychologists tell us that memory is helped by building anticipation. This kind of previewing the book builds our expectation for what we actually encounter reading it.

I highly recommend reading this book!

First Steps

So today I took the first step in my journey to help fight AIDS and global poverty… I bought a new phone.



I really like this phone, but more than that, I love that every single time I use it, money is donated to the Global Fund to fight AIDS and poverty. Sure, it’s not very much, but it is something… and thats a good place to start in my books. Should be fun to work out what it can do…